In my opinion, academic freedom refers to a situation in which all academic people including faculty members and students are allowed to teach or communicate ideas without any constrains. My further investigations about this term, reveals that this freedom has a greater domain since it refers to an idealistic situation in which academic people can communicate those ideas that are even unpleasant for politicians or authorities freely without any frustration of repression or job loss.
Through my investigations for finding historical roots of this idea I got familiar with Michael Polanyiideas who argued that for science progress a structure of liberty is necessary. He believed that academic freedom is a fundamental prerequisite for producing new and true knowledge.
This ideal situation in reality and practice is not very feasible, I noticed many situations during my education which my professors afraid to reveal their true ideas about political issuesbecause of institutional censorship or discipline. I think this freedom much depends on ideology and political situations of countries, and in many undeveloped or even in-develop countries this goal could not be achieved thoroughly. I realize that much of this repression is due to academic people’s ability for shaping and spreading of information.
However, I think academic freedom has a great impact for overall improvement of societies. Academic environments usually are unbiased, so those thinkings and ideas which are released through academic people are the most trustworthy and beneficial ones. So, if a country aspires a better good for its people, it should improve academic freedom as much as possible.