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Besa Arifi participated at the international conference for universities autonomy in Istanbul

On October 23 and 24 2009, in “Istanbul Bilgi University” the international conference "Academic Freedom & University Autonomy in the Balkan, Black Sea & Caspian Regions: Measures & Strategies" took place. It was organized by the Network for Education and Academic Rights – NEAR (London), Scholars at Risk – SAR (New York) and the Research Centre of Human Rights by the Law Faculty of Istanbul Bilgi University.

Besa Arifi, head of the SEEU Human Rights Centre participated in this conference representing SEEU in her presentation “University Autonomy and Academic Freedom – case of Macedonia” which will be published in the conference proceedings. Experiences from other countries were also shared by other participants from the Balkan region (Croatia, Serbia and Moldova), the Caspian Sea region (Kazakhstan, Kirgiz Republic and Afghanistan) as well as the Black Sea region (Russia, Bulgaria and Romania). Other eminent personalities lectured on this topic such as Turgut Tarhanli – Dean of the Law Faculty in Istanbul Bilgi University as well as Halil Berktay – University Professor in the “Sabanci University” in Istanbul. Furthermore, representatives of the Arab Society for Academic Freedom and the African Network for Academic Freedom reported on the situation in their countries regarding this issue. SEEU’s participation in this conference represents an important fact since precisely SEEU was chosen to represent Macedonia in this event among all other state and private universities in this country. The conference gave way to new ideas for further developments of the concept of university autonomy and academic freedom and new contacts, relations and networks were created in order to stimulate the cooperation with the international organizations that deal with this issue.