On 31 August and 1 September 2021, TEU will be hosting the Academic Freedom Conference 2021, with a call for papers soon to open.

The conference will provide a platform to critique the current state of academic freedom and the critic and conscience function afforded to all public tertiary education institutions, and to develop actions that will ensure academic freedom is preserved and enhanced.

All vice chancellors and chief executives from the public tertiary education sector are invited to attend the conference, as well as representatives from Te Pūkenga, the Ministry of Education, the Tertiary Education Commission and NZQA.

TEU National Secretary Sandra Grey says the moves toward applying market-model policies and procedures into the tertiary education sector over the last three decades has had a chilling effect on the exercising of academic, educator and staff’s rights and responsibilities.

“In order to advance TEU’s goal of being the voice of the tertiary education sector, we need to ensure that staff in the sector are aware of their rights and responsibilities with regard to the critic and conscience function of tertiary education institutions, and those around academic freedom.”

The two-day conference will focus both on academic critiques and papers, and on workshops aimed at advancing the rights and responsibilities afforded to those working and studying in the public tertiary education sector.

According to TEU National Secretary Sandra Grey,

‘Creating new ways of working, living, and caring for the planet requires room for all working and studying in the tertiary education sector to speak out and be bold. TEU members have repeatedly provided evidence of the clash between academic freedom and commercial approaches to education.”

By running a conference this year staff and learners have an opportunity to have their voice heard on this important issue, and a constructive means of envisioning how we can advance our rights and responsibilities as staff, educators and union members.

Keep an eye out for registration forms for this important conference by following TEU or https://www.facebook.com/academicfreedomnz