Resolution on the Status of Higher Education Personnel

published 28 July 2001 updated 31 March 2017

The Third World Congress of Education International, meeting in Jomtien, Thailand, from 25 to 29 July, 2001:

Education International affirms:

1. The rights and freedoms of higher education teaching personnel as defined in the UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Higher Education Teaching Personnel;

2. The important role all higher education personnel play in contributing, through their work, to the dissemination of knowledge, the furthering of social and economic goals, and the pursuit of innovation and new ideas;

3. The responsibility of personnel working in higher education institutions to work towards making the benefits of higher education available to all;

However, Education International notes:

4. An erosion in academic freedom, particularly in terms of academics' right to engage in teaching, research and scholarship without interference, and their responsibility to promote the work of the university as critic and conscience of society;

Education International believes that this is the product of a number of converging factors, including:

5. The increasing reliance of universities around the world on corporate and other forms of private funding;

6. The erosion of tenure and other forms of ongoing employment;

7. The failure of national governments to observe and give substance to the rights and freedoms of higher education personnel as endorsed in the UNESCO Recommandation;

8. The absence to date of a report from the Director General on the world situation with regard to academic freedom, as required by Article 75 of the UNESCO Recommandation;

Therefore, Education International should:

9. Continue to engage in discussions with the ILO as to how the rights and freedoms expressed in the UNESCO Recommandation concerning the Status of Higher Education Teaching Personnel might be promoted and protected in international agreements, and to protect the rights and freedoms of all higher education personnel;

10. Organise a conference involving representatives of EI affiliates, national governments, and NGO's (including UNESCO) to review implementation of the document (including the publication of reports on academic freedom from Member States) and formulate a strategy to ensure that it has wider efficacy.