Susanne Täuber awarded for commitment to academic freedom

Social safety expert Susanne Täuber has won this year’s AcademieKus prize from education union Aob for her commitment to academic freedom. Meanwhile, the UG is trying to sack her.

The winner of the AcademieKus is announced annually on Valentine’s Day. With the award, the education union wants to draw attention to positive working conditions in higher education.

Last year, Täuber published about bullying behaviour at universities and the social insecurity and undermining of academic freedom this results in. Another consideration for awarding Täuber is the fact that she’s actively trying to change the situation. Among other things, the jury referred to the article Professorale pestkoppen (Professorial bullies) in the Groene Amsterdammer, in which she and several co-authors show that social safety policies at universities are failing.


A salient detail is that Täuber is currently embroiled in a court case. The UG wants to fire her because of a ‘damaged working relationship’. For her part, Täuber argues that she is being discriminated against and that her publications caused so much bad blood within the institution that she has been prevented from working.

Täuber is pleasantly surprised by the award. ‘I am very happy about it and not only for myself. What the Aob actually does is emphasise how important academic freedom is, and they also make that connection with social safety. You have to see this as support for all those who are in these kinds of unsafe situations and no longer feel free to speak out.’

Similar signals

She says following the court case with the UG, she received many similar signals from people who do not dare to speak out. ‘I am an unfortunate embodiment of the current paradoxical views on social safety in society. Some people are very offended by developments that are widely supported in society and do not want to see that these developments should also start taking place at universities.’



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