Educational Leadership in Higher Education within International Contexts

Year: 2016

Author: Anderson, Peter

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Academic Freedom is an idea that has existed since the emergence of the modern university in the Middle-Ages in Europe. Enshrined into the logic of the university, it appears as a concept, an ideal, and an ideology, and while broadly discussed in the personal, professional and organisational enactments of this enduring idea, it has not been examined as a specific organisational value to understand its multidimensional existence.The central aim of this research has been to discover what contributes to the practice of, and limitations to, Academic Freedom as experienced by Australian academics. Employing a critical, interpretative and descriptive methodological approach involving in-depth interviews with academics from a range of humanities and social sciences disciplines, analysis of data has revealed that Academic Freedom, as a foundational value, is still alive, and indeed, still held as a personal, professional and organisational value by these academics.It has been found in this research that the enactment of Academic Freedom is mostly strongly influenced by academic rank. Further, there are three tiers of enactment being the personal, professional, and organisational that intersect and sometimes contradict one another.