Scholars at Risk (SAR)

Scholars at Risk (SAR) is an international network of higher education institutions that work to promote academic freedom and protect scholars who have been forced to flee due to war and persecution.

  • 507 institutions in 39 countries; 10 national sections (Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, UK)
  • 521 applications for assistance and 124 placements in the 2017-2018 academic year
  • Top sources of requests: Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen
  • Top risks to scholars: imprisonment, harassment, wrongful dismissal, disappearance, killing

SAR has enjoyed consultative status with UNESCO since 2012.

SAR Switzerland was founded in 2016 and counts on 16 member institutions, including swissuniversities and the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences.      


  • EPFL has been member of SAR since 2014 and is actively involved in SAR Switzerland.
  • EPFL can host SAR scholars for 1 to 2 years, allowing them to continue their academic activities while in exile, until they can return home or move elsewhere.


For EPFL community interested in hosting a scholar at risk or in knowing more about the activities of SAR, you can contact Dr. Gabriela Tejada –

For scholars who are at risk, you can contact the SAR Secretariat in New York to launch an investigation and get the « at risk » status.


Free to Think Report 2018

SAR Annual Report 2017-2018