Students' right to organise and to voice opinion is an integral part of higher education. Still, in many parts of the world students’ freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and association, and the right to education are threatened. State and institutional actors – including universities – restrict and attack student expression through the use of force, coercive and disciplinary actions.
The panel will consist of students and scholars involved in the protection and promotion of student expression across the globe. The webinar is jointly arranged by the Association of foreign affairs in Lund and Scholars at Risk Lund. Read more about global threats to student expression in Scholars at Risk’s 2020 report “Free to think”.
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Janika Spannagel, Research fellow at the Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi)
Matteo Vespa, Executive Committee of the European Students’ Union (ESU)
Sunniva Folgen Høiskar, President of the Norwegian Students’ and Academics’ International Assistance Fund (SAIH)
Janika Spannagel is a research fellow at the Global Public Policy Institute, where she co-developed a new methodology to assess academic freedom across the world. The systematization of data on international human rights topics is one of her key research interests, which she also explores as part of her PhD thesis on the international protection of human rights defenders. In this and other contexts, she has collaborated with the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders. She studied political science in a joint program between the University of Freiburg and Sciences Po Aix.
Matteo Vespa is a member of the Executive Committee of the European Students’ Union ESU. Previously he has been involved in the Italian student movement, at the local, national and European level. From 2018 to 2020 he was International Officer for UDU – Unione degli Universitari, Italian main student union. Matteo holds a Masters' degree in International and Diplomatic Sciences from the University of Bologna. He studies the political and party systems of the European Union and of India, on which he wrote a book (Europa e India: partiti a confronto, Edizioni Epoké, 2019).
Sunniva Folgen Høiskar, in her work as president of SAIH she is the spokesperson for the organisation and the main responsible for the organisations policies, as well as chairing the organisation’s board. SAIH is a solidarity organisation for Norwegian students and academics, and works on issues of academic freedom and equal access to quality higher education globally. The organisation has development cooperation partnerships with civil society organisations, intercultural higher education institutions, teacher unions and student movements in Latin America, Southern Africa and Asia. SAIH also works with information work and advocacy in Norway trying to raise awareness of the situation of students and academics globally, and uses creative campaigning as an important tool. The organisation has initiated the Students at Risk program and released a campaign this spring called “Can you hear me now” focusing on criminalisation of student activism globally.
Discussant: Dr Karin Zackari, Scholars at Risk Sweden, Lund University
Link to the Facebook event: https://fb.me/e/O9A6ChhJ