US Ambassador Amy Gutmann Attended the Ceremony of Scholars At Risk (Sar) Network Berlin-Brandenburg
On April 18th, 2023, the U.S. Ambassador in Berlin participated in the founding ceremony of the Scholars at Risk (SAR) Network Berlin-Brandenburg.April 18th, 2023
The Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, founded by Wilhelm von Humboldt in 1810, transformed higher education through the integration of research and teaching. The university is known for its strong commitment to academic freedom and diversity. The university offers a wide range of academic programs, including natural sciences, humanities, social sciences, and law.
Recently, the Scholars at Risk (SAR) Network Berlin-Brandenburg has was inaugurated at the Humboldt University. It is an organization that aims to protect and assist scholars who are at risk due to their academic work. During the founding ceremony, the during the founding ceremony the US Ambassador was invited to make an inaugural speech. The Ambassador emphasized academic freedom's significance and highlighted the SAR Network's role in protecting scholars under threat. The Ambassador also applauded the German host institutions for their support to scholars from Ukraine and Russia and recognized the State Department's Scholar Rescue Fund, which funds support for scholars in danger.
The Ambassador, in her speech, emphasized the importance of academic freedom and how it is threatened globally. She described how Humboldt's legacy of academic freedom had influenced the development of research universities in the United States and around the world. She highlighted that academic freedom is central to our future and must be protected.
The Ambassador cited various examples of threats to academic freedom worldwide, including Russia's suppression of dissenting voices, the Taliban's oppression of women and girls in Afghanistan, the systematic targeting of universities to suppress social and political activism in Iran, and the restriction of academic freedom, research integrity, and political discourse throughout China.
Moreover, she commended the Humboldt-Universität in Berlin for establishing a regional platform for the Scholars at Risk Network along with partner universities in Berlin and Brandenburg. The Scholars at Risk Network provides sanctuary and assistance to more than 300 threatened scholars worldwide every year. The Ambassador mentioned that the State Department provides funding to the Scholar Rescue Fund of the Institute of International Education to support scholars at risk in Afghanistan and other countries, and partners on many programs to support women scholars at risk globally.
In conclusion, the Ambassador reiterated the importance of defending academic freedom and standing up for democracy, as these values are under threat worldwide. The founding ceremony of the Scholars at Risk Network Berlin-Brandenburg is an admirable part of the legacy of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and a significant step in the fight to protect academic freedom globally.