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Academic freedom

Constitutional Basis:
Section 5(2) Article XIV of the 1987 Constitution provides that "Academic freedom shall be enjoyed in all
institutions of higher learning."
The 1935 Constitution and the 1973 Constitution likewise provided for the academic freedom or, more
precisely, for the institutional autonomy of universities and institutions of higher learning. [Enrique U.
Betoy vs. The Board of Directors, National Power Corporation, G.R. Nos. 156556-57, October 4, 2011]
The 4 essential freedoms [Justice Frankfurter]
The essential freedoms subsumed in the term "academic freedom" encompass the freedom of the
school or college to determine for itself:
(1) who may teach;
(2) who may be taught;
(3) how lessons shall be taught; and
(4) who may be admitted to study.

[Yolanda M. Mercado, et al. Vs. Ama Computer College, Paranague City, G.R. No. 183572,
April 14, 2010; see also Garcia vs. Faculty Admission Committee, Loyola School of
Theology, G.R. No. L-40779, November 28, 1975]
Definition of Academic Freedom
The collective liberty of an organization is by no means the same thing as the freedom of the individual
members within it; in fact, the two kinds of freedom are not even necessarily connected. In considering
the problems of academic freedom one must distinguish, therefore, between the autonomy of the
university, as a corporate body, and the freedom of the individual university teacher. [Garcia vs. Faculty
Admission Committee, Loyola School of Theology quoting Dr. Marcel Bouchard, Rector of the University
of Dijon, France, President of the conference of rectors and vice-chancellors of European universities]
Academic Freedom of Institution
The institutional academic freedom includes the right of the school or college to decide and adopt its
aims and objectives, and to determine how these objections can best be attained, free from outside
coercion or interference, save possibly when the overriding public welfare calls for some restraint.
It has a wide sphere of autonomy certainly extending to the choice of students. This constitutional
provision is not to be construed in a niggardly manner or in a grudging fashion.

[Garcia vs. Faculty Admission Committee, Loyola School of Theology, G.R. No. L-40779,
November 28, 1975]
Academic Freedom of the Faculty
This personal aspect of freedom refers to "the right of a faculty member to pursue his studies in his
particular specialty and thereafter to make known or publish the result of his endeavors without fear that
retribution would be visited on him in the event that his conclusions are found distasteful or objectionable
to the powers that be, whether in the political, economic, or academic establishments."
For the sociologist, Robert McIver, it is "a right claimed by the accredited educator, as teacher and as
investigator, to interpret his findings and to communicate his conclusions without being subjected to any
interference, molestation, or penalization because these conclusions are unacceptable to some
constituted authority within or beyond the institution."
As for the educator and philosopher Sidney Hook, this is his version: "What is academic freedom? Briefly
put, it is the freedom of professionally qualified persons to inquire, discover, publish and teach the truth

as they see it in the field of their competence. It is subject to no control or authority except the control or
authority of the rational methods by which truths or conclusions are sought and established in these

[Garcia vs. Faculty Admission Committee, Loyola School of Theology, G.R. No. L-40779,
November 28, 1975]
Right of a school to refuse re-enrollment to students
It is beyond dispute that a student once admitted by the school is considered enrolled for one semester.
It is provided in Paragraph 137 Manual of Regulations for Private Schools, that when a college student
registers in a school, it is understood that he is enrolling for the entire semester. Likewise, it is provided
in the Manual, that the "written contracts" required for college teachers are for "one semester." It is thus
evident that after the close of the first semester, the [school] no longer has any existing contract either
with the students or with the teachers.
The right of the school to refuse re-enrollment of students for academic delinquency and violation of
disciplinary regulations has always been recognized by this Court . Thus, the Court has ruled that the
school's refusal is sanctioned by law. Sec. 107 of the Manual of Regulations for Private Schools
considers academic delinquency and violation of disciplinary regulations as valid grounds for refusing
re-enrollment of students. The opposite view would do violence to the academic freedom enjoyed by the
school and enshrined under the Constitution.

[Alcuaz vs PSBA, G.R. No. 76353, May 2, 1988 ;see also Tangonan vs. Pao, G.R. No.
L-45157, June 27, 1985]
Freedom of a university does not terminate upon the "graduation" of a student
As pointed out by this Court in Garcia vs. Faculty Admission Committee, Loyola School of Theology, it is
a freedom granted to "institutions of higher learning" which is thus given "a wide sphere of authority
certainly extending to the choice of the students." If such institution of higher learning can decide who
can and who cannot study in it, it certainly can also determine on whom it can confer the honor and
distinction of being its graduates.
Where it is shown that the conferment of an honor or distinction was obtained through fraud, a university
has the right to revoke or withdraw the honor or distinction it has thus conferred. This freedom of a
university does not terminate upon the "graduation" of a student. xxx It follows that if the conferment of a
degree is founded on error or fraud, the [school board] is also empowered, subject to the observance of
due process, to withdraw what it has granted without violating a student's rights. An institution of higher
learning cannot be powerless if it discovers that an academic degree it has conferred is not rightfully
deserved. Nothing can be more objectionable than bestowing a university's highest academic degree
upon an individual who has obtained the same through fraud or deceit. The pursuit of academic
excellence is the university's concern. It should be empowered, as an act of self-defense, to take
measures to protect itself from serious threats to its integrity.
While it is true that the students are entitled to the right to pursue their educaiton, [the] educational
institution is also entitled to pursue its academic freedom and in the process has the concomitant right to
see to it that this freedom is not jeopardized.

[UP Board of Regents, et al vs Court of Appeals and Celine, G.R. No. 134625, August 31,