Opinion: Standing Up for Central American Higher Ed

Author: Jessica Ashman

The Pulte Insitute's Tom Hare and Estela Rivero, co-directors of the Central America Research Alliance (CARA), recently co-authored an op-ed for Inside Higher EdThe article asserts that universities everywhere should fear what comes next after the closure of universities across Nicaragua by the Ortega regime. 

"Far from being just another step toward eliminating free debate, the dismantling of universities is a near-fatal blow to democracy. The lack of training in important technical and scientific skills will restrict economic development and the growth of the private sector for a generation. The lack of experience in study and research in social sciences will weaken the public sector and critical social services for just as long. All of this weakens the important counterbalance these sectors provide to the government."

They assert that support of the international community, including university and church leadership, is crucial to pushing back against the anti-democratic actions of each country. Universities everywhere must join in international pressure to end the contagion and re-establish freedom of expression as a universal right. 

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Originally published at insidehighered.com on April 6, 2022.