Monday, 27 June 2011

Football, Universities and Students: formulating an action plan for Academic Freedom

The Council for Assisting Refugee Academics (CARA) and Para Siempre FC are excited to be participating in the Beyond Borders International Universities Football Tournament. CARA in collaboration with Para Siempre FC will be running a workshop; ‘Football, Universities and Students: formulating an action plan for Academic Freedom’ that aims to discuss with and familiarise international student footballers to the notions of academic freedom and the mediums in which to promote it.

CARA was established in 1933 in response to the persecution of academics across Europe by fascist regimes. It was founded by leading figures such as Sir William Beveridge; Lord Rutherford; John Maynard Keynes; A V Hill, Lionel Robbins; and Margery Fry.78 years on, CARA awards grants to enable Refugee Academics to achieve employment in the UK at a level commensurate with their skills and experience in the long term. Academics are frequent targets of state-sponsored violence and repression. In times of conflict, academics and intellectuals often suffer intimidation, torture, and imprisonment.

Para Siempre F.C. is a one-of-a-kind football team, sponsored by CARA, comprises of academics, lecturers, postgraduates and undergraduates from an array of social and cultural backgrounds. Their aim is simple yet powerful; campaigning for the right of children to have an education. Para Siempre F.C. are using football as a universal language to promote sustainable education for those in the most impoverished regions of the world, to facilitate support for existing educational charities and maintain development through schemes of self-sufficiency.

CARA and Para Siempre FC will openly discuss any issues surrounding academic freedom and to present recommendations, activities and campaign designs to promote academic freedom. Our intention is to produce a collaborative report on the outcomes of the issues discussed to at the workshop to be published by CARA and distributed to Universities, students and football teams across the globe.

CARA believes that with initiatives such as Beyond Borders can create a formidable grassroots medium to promote academic freedom on a global scale. We hope that the students will be able to return to their countries will a clear idea of how to facilitate and support academic freedom.


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