Academic Freedom 4 offers an overview of the international standards in this field and spells out the obligations of states in guaranteeing the educational rights of citizens. The reports on specific countries show the wide range of obstacles standing in the way of a full realization of the right to education.
Several chapters analyse how disinvestment in education has undermined this right, particularly for women and minorities. In several parts of the world, structural adjustment programmes go hand in hand with stricter government control (including censorship) of universities, while in others, the control of education by religious groups has emerged as a new challenge.
Other reports show why two factors, the existence of highly educated refugees and the globalization of the world economy, demand a much wider international recognition of educational qualifications.