University presidents from around the world gathered for the fourth edition of the U7+ summit. On this occasion, a statement was issued urging G7 leaders to strengthen academic freedom.
U7+ the international alliance of universities, established in 2019, now brings together more than 45 universities committed to addressing the world’s major societal challenges. At their annual summit in 2022, the alliance’s global university members, warned against the resurgence of autocracy that is impeding the institutional autonomy of higher education.
The crisis of democracy, manifested in the rise of political extremism and polarization, has threatened the freedom of some university professors, as individual scholars, to address controversial topics in research and teaching, the statement said.
Or this autonomy is essential to enable universities to fulfill one of its central missions: the education of active and informed citizens.
In addition, the declaration highlighted the ability of universities to offer scientific evidence to policymakers on a variety of issues, including climate change, public health, inequality, diversity and migration.
The last few crises we have faced, and still face, have shown us the importance and strength of international collaboration. Universities can provide valuable advice and support to G7 leaders especially on issues at the heart of its agenda such as the environment, economic stability, innovation...
In the face of the climate emergency, universities have a key role to play as much in finding innovative solutions as in educating and raising awareness among future generations and leaders. Moreover, by creating new opportunities and attracting talent from around the world, universities are building a more connected, egalitarian, and open world day by day.
Thus, this U7+ summit has once again demonstrated the commitment of universities and their willingness to collaborate to address the global challenges of our society. Looking ahead to the G7 Summit in Japan in 2023, U7+ plans to engage even more formally in the G7 process.
The U7+ Summit was a great success.
View the full U7+ statement