Tami and Scott give an introduction to the series. They discuss why Progress SA cares about academic freedom and why it took up the fight against academic authoritarianism at the University of Cape Town. They also discuss the state of academic freedom — worldwide and across South Africa — as context for the interviews that are to follow in the rest of the series.

This series is brought to you with support from the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom.

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Scott chats to David Benatar, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Cape Town. Benatar defines academic freedom and what kinds of activities count as violations of academic freedom. Should scholars be free to ignore postcolonial and critical race theory? What role does intellectual diversity have to play in the pursuit of truth? Benatar addresses these questions and ends with a discussion of UCT’s disinvitation of controversial journalist Flemming Rose.

This series is brought to you with support from the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom.

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Tami speaks to Prof Jonathan Jansen, past Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Free State. They discuss the effect that student protests at South African universities since 2015 have had on academic freedom in the country. Does academic freedom mean that there should be a limitation on students’ right to protest? Should academic freedom be compromised in the interests of short-term political gain? They end with a conversation about the risk of state involvement in academic institutions’ decision making.

This series is brought to you with support from the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom.

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Scott discusses democracy and the societal roles of universities with Prof Nuraan Davids, Professor of Education at Stellenbosch University and author of a new text on academic freedom in South Africa, Universities, Pedagogical Encounters, Openness, and Free Speech. Davids highlights the democratic importance of being willing to listen to all viewpoints in the classroom, even those which conflict with political correctness.

This series is brought to you with support from the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom.

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Dr Max Price, past Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Town, has an opportunity to respond to criticism levelled at him by other guests interviewed in the series. Scott asks him about UCT’s legacy of academic freedom, and whether that legacy is now under threat. Price offers a different understanding of the concept of academic freedom to the one employed by other guests in the series.

This series is brought to you with support from the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom.

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