Scholars at Risk (SAR) is an international network of universities founded in 1999 at the University of Chicago with the aim of promoting academic freedom and protect scholars whose lives are in danger, or whose work is severely compromised. SAR is part of the Network for Education and Academic Rights (NEAR), and the Scholars Rescue Fund (SRF) - Institute of International Education (IIE). The network currently includes 450 universities in 40 countries.
SAR has three core activities
Protection for scholars: SAF works with partner universities to create temporary scholarships (3-24 months) for scholars who apply for protection. The funding of these scholarships is entirely provided by the host universities, although SAR promotes relations with foundations and international funding bodies (e.g. the Scholars Rescue Fund - SRF).
Advocacy support: to raise awareness in civil and political society of cases of infringement of academic freedom in different countries.
Research and training initiatives on human rights, academic freedom, academic refugees and policies for hosting researchers and students, through the organisation of seminars, conferences, talk series, monitoring projects, and participation in Erasmus+ programmes.
SAR at the University of Verona
The University of Verona, member of SAR Italia, participates in national coordination meetings and has one representative in each of the three working groups established for the year 2020:
- Reception and support for scholars
- Outreach and lobbying/institutional relations
- Partnerships and synergies at the national level
Obligations of the partner universities
SAR membership requires each partner university to commit to the principle of academic freedom, to subscribe an annual fee either as a contributing member ($1000) or as a sustaining member ($5000), and to appoint a representative.
SAR membership can only be applied for by universities. SAR also encourages the establishment of national networks of partner universities in order to strengthen fundraising, advocacy and information activities in each country, and to promote cooperation with other existing national networks (e.g. in the United States of America, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Germany, and Norway).
SAR Italia, the Italian section of Scholars at Risk, was established on 19 February 2019. SAR Italia is a network comprising 21 Italian universities and research institutes. In setting up SAR Italia, the governing bodies of the participating universities, along with their lecturers, students and staff, wish to express solidarity with all those scholars and universities in the world who live in situations where academic freedom is restricted, and research, teaching and educational activities are suppressed. SAR Italia intends to operate through the dissemination of information and the exchange of good practices, as well as cooperating in protection and advocacy initiatives, and in the organisation of events aimed at raising awareness of these issues.
The universities that are part of the Italian section of Scholars at Risk are full members of SAR Italia.
For the period 2019-2021, SAR Italia is led by the Universities of Trento and Padua. These two institutions, together with the Universities of Cagliari and Trieste and the Scuola Normale Superiore, constitute the Supervisory Board of the association.
SAR Italia partner universities
- Istituto Universitario Europeo
- Magna Charta Observatory
- Scuola Normale Superiore
- SISSA-Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati
- Università di Bologna
- Università di Brescia
- Università di Cagliari
- Università di Genova
- Università di Firenze
- Università di Macerata
- Università di Milano
- Università di Padova
- Università di Pavia
- Università di Pisa
- Università di Roma La Sapienza
- Università di Siena
- Università di Torino
- Università di Trento
- Università di Trieste
- Università di Verona
- Università Telematica Internazionale UNINETTUNO