In this article, complexities in the relationship between academic mobility and freedom evident in Africa showing high levels of mobility but frustrations with the realisation of academic freedom are discussed. A distinction between negative, positive and epistemic dimensions of freedom helps us to analyse conditions for academic mobility but also how mobility can compromise freedom. Semi-structured interviews of scholars of social and political sciences at the main national universities in Botswana, Cameroon and Zimbabwe, representing different experiences of political developments, show that international connections allowing academics to move are crucial for their work and enable them to be critical, but do not guarantee decent working conditions or support for decolonisation of the curricula. Lack of connections increase self-censorship. Yet the situation of non-national academics can be particularly vulnerable. The space available for critical expertise is not only affected by national politics and material conditions of universities, but also by the internationalisation of higher education and research. That is why all dimensions of academic freedom should be protected within international co-operation.
- 5203 U-landsforskning