MCO Secretary General recognised by Scholars at Risk

Scholars at Risk (SAR), a strategic partner of the Magna Charta Observatory, has recognised David Lock, the MCO’s Secretary General with the award of an inscribed trophy.

The inscription reads ‘In recognition of outstanding dedication to protecting at-risk scholars and promoting academic freedom’. The recognition is built on the partnership with the MCO whom David represents on the SAR International Advisory Committee.


SAR, founded 20 years ago by the current Executive Director Rob Quinn, is now a network of over 600 education institutions in 42 countries. It started with the single intention of helping threatened academic colleagues. It has helped over 1600 scholars. The network is growing with over 60 new institutions joining the network last year. The MCO and other partners are credited with playing an important part in strengthening SAR’s work, growing the network and delivering more help to even more scholars.


The partnership between the MCO and SAR is highly practical and ongoing. In June Rob Quinn, the Founder and Executive Director was a key contributor to the MCO’s induction and briefing event for Ambassadors and universities involved in the Living Values project. Few people in the world are able to speak with as much experience of academic freedom issues as Rob.


Where it is likely to be more effective to do so, SAR and MCO make joint public statements on issues concerning particular countries. Both organisations are working to assist scholars affected by the situation in Ukraine. The MCO was involved in discussions about the development of SAR’s Academic Freedom Index and assist in other ways. Both organisations contributed evidence to the Bologna Follow-up Group’s review of academic freedom.


Speaking of the recognition David Lock said, “The missions of the two organisations are complementary but each has its particular focus. It works well when we collaborate and it is very gratifying that SAR has recognised the input of the MCO. SAR’s input to MCO work and projects is also greatly appreciated. Long may the partnership continue.”


SAR will be hosting a world café table at the MCO’s anniversary conference in Bologna and sharing more of the issues and challenges which they face and how other universities are able to get involved. The focus will be universities serving society in turbulent times.



Published on 31 August 2022