University mission and academic freedom: Are they irreconcilable?

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Abstract

Educational freedom, rightly understood, depends upon the freedom to shape - and (for individuals) to choose to study in or teach in - distinctive educational institutions. This implies an obligation upon faculty who have chosen to commit themselves to such an institution to teach in a way that engages positively with its educational project. Policies which provide scope and encouragement for schools and universities to represent distinctive and coherent viewpoints are an essential condition of educational freedom in a pluralistic society. These issues are discussed with reference to the ‘values project‘ of Free University in Amsterdam and to debates, in the Netherlands and the United States, over the distinctive character of schools.

This revised version was published online in August 2006 with corrections to the Cover Date.