Institutional Autonomy and the Protection of Higher Education from Attack
The report suggests that institutional autonomy plays a direct and indirect protective function. It directly helps protect systems of higher education from government interference, making it more difficult for states to act as perpetrators. It also indirectly helps preserve higher education against actual and perceived politicization and ideological manipulation, which in turn might help insulate it from attacks by non-state parties. The report identifies four areas of State responsibility in relation to security of higher education: (1) responsibility to refrain from perpetrating attacks, directly or indirectly; (2) responsibility to refrain from complicity in attacks; (3) responsibility to investigate incidents in an open and transparent way; and (4) responsibility to deter future attacks, including by holding perpetrators accountable in ways consistent with internationally recognized standards. For more information about the protection of higher education and an initiative to develop a statement of ‘principles of state responsibility for protecting higher education,’ please visit GCPEA’s website.