International Academic Freedom Day

The next International Academic Freedom Day is on Tuesday 20 May 2025

IAFD 2024

There was a lively response to the launch day on 20 May with contributions from many organisations including the Academy of Ideas, Akademische Freiheit, Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism,
 Liberté Académique, Movement for a Free Academia and the Syndicat des Agrégés de l’Enseignement Supérieur.  AFAF branches held meetings and promoted the day in a variety of ways (see below).

We promoted 20 May 2024 as the first International Academic Freedom Day (IAFD). The day is listed on a page in the official Days of the Year Calendar.

On 20 May our branches and friends announced IAFD early, and often, as possible on as many social media platforms as they could. The Days of the Year entry was used by many but some designed their own publicity.

Dennis Hayes wrote a guest Substack piece for the Academy of Ideas on International Academic Freedom Day and why it was necessary.

Activities for 20 May 2024 – UK

University of Buckingham 18.00-19.30 Professor Umut Özkırımlı discussed Is there a left way out of woke? with a response by Dr Lawrence Patihis (University of Portsmouth) and co-convenor of the University of Portsmouth AFAF branch.

Canterbury Christ Church University – AFAF/IAFD promotion – with some excellent poster displays.

University of Derby 13.00-14.00 Dr Sean Broome introduced a discussion of Chapter 2 of John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty – ‘Of the Liberty of Thought and Discussion’.

University of Leeds – Members undertook AFAF and IAFD promotion – leafletting

Liverpool John Moores University – leafletting – AFAF/IAFD promotion

University of Manchester 20.00 – 21.00 (online) Discussed Woke Racism: How a New Religion Has Betrayed Black America by John McWhorter.

Book Publication AFAF member Sean Bw Parker’s nineth book, A Delicate Balance Of Reason: adventures in the culture wars was published on IAFD in a kindle version.

3BS Radio On the eve of IAFD, Sunday 19 May at 18.15 Umut Özkırımlı  and Dennis Hayes appeared on the Diana Blaimires Show.

Activities for 20 May 2024 – Europe

Various activities and promotions by our supporters will take place in Belgium, France, Germany and the Nordic countries.

Supporting organisations are:

Academics For Academic Freedom

Academy of Ideas

Akademische Freiheit

Alumni For Free Speech

Free Speech Ireland

Free Speech Union

Free Speech Wales

Foundation Against Intolerance & Racism (FAIR)

Liberté Académique 

Movement For a Free Academia

Speak Easy



It was at its Annual Conference in November 2023, that Academics For Academic Freedom (AFAF) announced that they declared 20 May to be International Academic Freedom Day. The 20 May is the birth date of John Stuart Mill (pictured) the author of On Liberty (1859) which is still essential reading for all lovers of freedom today.

We ask all our Friends, AFAF branches and universities to support this initiative and to organise lectures, seminars, debates, workshops and creative activities to celebrate that date every year.

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