Hungarian Educational Research Journal
Open Access

The Hungarian Educational Research Journal (HERJ) is an international online, peer-reviewed Open Access academic journal featuring articles that advance the empirical, theoretical, and methodological understanding of education and learning. Its mission is to provide a forum for emerging researchers as well as established scholars from around the world to exchange and discuss their research results, views and opinions and welcomes submissions of the highest quality, reflecting a wide range of perspectives, topics, contexts, and methods, including interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary work. HERJ publishes research articles, articles for special thematic issues and book reviews in four issues a year (March, June, October, and December). It welcomes proposals for new thematic issues as well as high quality theoretical and empirical studies. All papers submitted for publication will be subject to rigorous blind peer-review.
Content published before 2019 is available on the website of HERJ’s previous publisher, Debrecen University Press (DUPress).


Call for Paper a Thematic Issue of the scientific journal HERJ
Topic: Academic Freedom in Higher Education

Guest editors:

Gergely Kováts PhD (Corvinus University of Budapest)

Zoltán Rónay PhD (Eötvös Loránd University)

Ulrich Teichler Prof. emer (Centre for Higher Education Research Kassel)

Academic freedom in higher education is indispensable as it is the bedrock for intellectual exploration, innovation, and academic excellence. Academics thrive when granted the freedom to define their research and teaching agendas, allowing them to pursue questions that resonate with their expertise and passions. This independence is fundamental to fostering a culture of creativity and critical thinking, enabling academics to push the boundaries of knowledge. Academic freedom also nurtures a diverse and dynamic research landscape, encouraging scholars to explore interdisciplinary collaborations and contribute to the broader academic community. It enhances job satisfaction and motivation. It empowers scholars to make meaningful contributions to their fields. Academic freedom is also crucial for students who can learn critical thinking by using their freedom to question taken-for-granted claims.
Academic freedom has become a sensitive issue worldwide in the last two decades. While in authoritarian states, the primary constraint is political repression, in liberal democracies, academic freedom is usually constrained by academic capitalism and different forms of political correctness and conservative ideologies. For example, in the US, academic freedom found itself in the crossfire of the attacks, first, from the direction of civil rights. Many advocates of civil society thought that Academic Freedom was created by white, Christian, at least middle-aged male academics without the consideration of the academic community's colourful nature. Therefore, they consider academic freedom as a tool of suppression. Nowadays, academic freedom is also threatened by conservative ideology, when many progressive opinions are also repressed - furthermore - in the name of academic freedom or referring to the avoidance of indoctrination.
Similar worrying trends can be seen in many EU Member States (Maasen et al. 2023), not to mention illiberal democracies, hybrid regimes and authoritarian dictatorships (Douglass 2021). Although there is a broad consensus that academic freedom is the essence and lifeblood of higher education, the question arises as to why academic freedom is deteriorating and why we are not able to guarantee it.
One reason can be that the concept and elements of academic freedom are not self-evident. Although there are broadly accepted elements of academic freedom, opinions differ in many details. For example, there is no consensus even about the holders of this right, i.e., whether it is also addressed to the students. Academic freedom often overlaps with other concepts such as institutional autonomy, freedom of expression, and freedom of education. Although the UNESCO (1997) statement is often used as a starting point, many other international treaties and documents approach the concept differently or leave academic freedom undefined, making it difficult to protect it legally. For these reasons, in recent years, more efforts have been made to clarify the concept of academic freedom and identify the factors affecting it. For example, Kováts and Rónay (2023) created the so-called onion model, which demonstrates the nature and structure of Academic Freedom. With the help of this model, it becomes understandable what the role of institutional autonomy is, its relation to academic freedom, and the differences between them. It also presents four different fundamental rights that make up scientific freedom. These include the right to teach, which involves expressing scientifically supported truths and having a significant say in the curriculum. It also states the right to research, allowing individuals to pursue their own research interests without interference from political or commercial entities. The right to disseminate knowledge enables scholars to share their thoughts, opinions, findings, and ideas within the university and on professional and public platforms. Lastly, the right to participate in shaping the academic community should be mentioned, which differs from the institutional autonomy whose addressee is the organisation. This right involves voicing opinions on factors that impact teaching, research, and the dissemination of expert knowledge, formulating its regulations and frames, and contributing to the governance of academic institutions (Kováts & Rónay, 2023).
Despite all these efforts, conceptual diversity makes it difficult to monitor and protect academic freedom effectively in different countries, recognise when it is violated, and even have evidence. Based on these developments, the Thematic Issue will focus on academic freedom in higher education. We call for original papers related to the topic in various contexts, covering a broad spectrum of academic freedom research from the conceptual challenge to particular case studies and in-between.

Guide for Authors

Papers should be up to 7000 words, excluding abstract, keywords, tables, figures and appendix. The suggested parts of a paper may include:

  • the title and the author;
  • an abstract containing the aims of the study (1-2 sentences), an overview of the relevant publications and previous research (2-3 sentences), presentation of the research method (2-3 sentences); a summary of research results (2-3 sentences), altogether maximum 150-200 words;
  • keywords: 3-5 keywords retrieved from the ERIC keyword database (, completed by 3-5 keywords according to the author's decision;
  • the body of the text: Introduction (literature review); Research questions; Methods; Results; Discussion; Conclusion; References. Introduction should start on a new page;
  • the list of references and bibliographical data in manuscripts should be prepared according to APA Style 7th edition (

About the Journal

The Hungarian Educational Research Journal is an open-access, academic, quarterly journal focusing on contemporary ideas and themes in educational research. Its mission is to provide a forum for emerging researchers as well as established scholars to exchange their research results, views and opinions on education, educational policy and research. For journal information, please visit this website:

An overview of the journal is accessible at

A guide for authors, a Word template and other relevant information can be found on HERJ's homepage:

Abstracts are to be sent to

Papers are to be submitted online here:


Submission deadline for abstracts: 30 April 2024

Submission deadline for papers: 31 August 2024

Publication scheduled for May 2025.

Further information

Please contact


AAUP (1940). Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure with 1970 Interpretive Comments. American Association of University Professors. retrieved from:

Douglas, J. A. (ed)(2021): Neo-nationalism and Universities. Populists, Autocrats, and the Future of Higher Education. John Hopkins University.

Kováts, G., & Rónay, Z. (2023). How academic freedom is monitored: Overview of methods and procedures. Bruxelles, Belgium : European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS)

Maasen, P., Martinsen, D., Elken, M., Jungblut, J. & Lackner, E. (2023). State of play of academic freedom in the EU Member States. Bruxelles, Belgium : European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS).

UNESCO (1997). Recommendation concerning the Status of Higher-Education Teaching Personnel. UNESCO, November 11, 1997

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Open Access with NO author fee
The author instructions are available in PDF. Please download the file from HERE.


The Submissions template is available in MS Word,
please download the file from HERE
(for book reviews from HERE).


Senior Editors

Founding Editor: Tamás Kozma (Debrecen University)

Editor-in-ChiefAnikó Fehérvári (ELTE Eötvös Loránd University)

Assistant Editor: Eszter Bükki (BME Budapest University of Technology and Economics)

Associate editors: 
Karolina Eszter Kovács (University of Debrecen)
Krisztina Sebestyén (Gál Ferenc University)


Editorial Board


Address of editorial office

Dr. Anikó Fehérvári
Institute of Education, ELTE Eötvös Loránd University
Address: 23-27. Kazinczy út 1075 Budapest, Hungary




Hungarian Educational Research Journal
Publication Model Gold Open Access
Submission Fee none
Article Processing Charge none
Subscription Information Gold Open Access

Hungarian Educational Research Journal
Language English
Size B5
Year of
per Year
per Year
Founder Magyar Nevelés- és Oktatáskutatók Egyesülete – Hungarian Educational Research Association
H-4010 Debrecen, Hungary Pf 17
Publisher Akadémiai Kiadó
H-1117 Budapest, Hungary 1516 Budapest, PO Box 245.
Chief Executive Officer, Akadémiai Kiadó
ISSN 2064-2199 (Online)