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This is the fourth and last session of the King's Presidential Series on Academic Freedom. Launched in December 2022 under the auspices of Professor Shitij Kapur, Vice-Chancellor & President of King's College London, the Series made possible a dialogue regarding the need for, and possible modalities of, reimagining academic freedom.

At this final session we will be presenting a draft set of principles for reimagining academic freedom.

These principles are the result of a year-long process led by Professor Liviu Matei, from King's School of Education, Communication & Society, in consultation with scholars, experts and practitioners from the UK and around the world through public events and research workshops, to better answer a set of questions: 

  • Is there a need to reimagine academic freedom?
  • How does academic freedom relate to freedom of speech and other concepts regarding the production, transmission, dissemination, and use of knowledge?
  • To what extent is a global common reference for academic freedom necessary and feasible?
  • What can be the contribution of the university, as opposed to public authorities and other non-university actors, to the reconceptualisation and new codification of academic freedom?

The Principles for Reimagining Academic Freedom will be discussed by an eminent panel with a global audience.


Welcome and Introduction - Professor Shitij Kapur, Vice-Chancellor & President

Presentation of the Principles - Professor Liviu Matei

Responses to the Principles by panellists: 

  • Daniele Joly (Chair), Professor Emerita, University of Warwick and Chair of the International Advisory Board, Global Observatory on Academic Freedom.
  • Jacques Frémont, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Ottawa [online].
  • Niraja Jayal, Avantha Chair of the India Institute, King's College London [online].
  • Klaus Beiter, Professor, Faculty of Law of North-West University in Potchefstroom [online].
  • Martina Darmanin, former President of the European Students' Union, and member of the Governing Council of Magna Charta Universitatum Observatory. [online].

Panel discussion, followed by a Q&A with the audience.


After the event, there will be a light reception from 20:30 to 21:00. Please indicate, when reserving your ticket, if you will be attending the buffet and if you have any allergies or intolerances.

This is a hybrid event so it will take place in person, with some online contributions. There is also the option for audience members to join online if they wish - please select the virtual ticket option if you wish to join online only and you will be sent the Zoom link in advance of the event.

Speaker bios: 

Klaus Beiter is a professor in the Faculty of Law of North-West University in South Africa. He teaches modules in intellectual property law, socio-economic rights, and international social justice, and has conducted extensive research on academic freedom.

Martina Darmanin represents the student voice on the Governing Council of Magna Charta Universitatum Observatory. As President of the European Students' Union in 2021-22, her portfolio focused on equitable access to education, academic freedom, student agency in education governance and international cooperation on education. She was first elected into the movement when studying Health Sciences at the University of Malta. 

Jacques Frémont is president and vice-chancellor of the University of Ottawa, Canada. He served as Chair of Quebec’s Human Rights and Youth Rights Commission, and Director of the International Higher Education Support Program. A constitutional and public law scholar, he coordinated major international cooperation projects in the fields of human rights and judicial training.

Niraja Gopal Jayal is the Avantha Chair at India Institute, King’s College London, and Centennial Professor (2019-23) at London School of Economics, in the Department of Gender Studies. She was formerly Professor at the Centre for the Study of Law and Governance at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

Danièle Joly is Professor Emerita at Warwick University and a Research Fellow at the Collège d’études mondiales, Maison des Sciences de l’Homme Paris. She co-authored with Khursheed Wadia Muslim women and power: civic and political engagement in west European societies (2017). She is chairperson of the Global Observatory on Academic Freedom. In 2023, she published the study Academic Freedom under Attack: France and the United Kingdom.

Resources on academic freedom: 

1. Talk 'The Question of Academic Freedom', delivered by Niraja Gopal Jayal in Oct 2023.

2. Report 'Academic Freedom under attack - France and the United Kingdom' written by Daniele Joly in 2022

3. Talk 'The Emperor Is Naked!” – Rebuilding Moral Universities in the Light of the Rights to Education and Science of International Law', delivered by Klaus Beiter in July 2023.

This was the fourth and last event of the King's Presidential Series on Academic Freedom.

At this event

Liviu Matei

Professor of Higher Education and Public Policy

Shitij Kapur

Vice-Chancellor & President of King's College London

Event details

8th floor
Bush House North East Wing
Bush House North East Wing, 30 Aldwych, WC2B 4BG