SAR advocates for basic human rights particularly for scholars and the global academic community. SAR seeks to achieve this through political advocacy, information campaigns, advice, legal aid and more.
One of the most important initiatives that SAR undertakes is to facilitate temporary employment for threatened scholars at host institutions outside their home country. The SAR network consists of universities, colleges and associated members all over the world. Scholars at Risk was established at the University of Chicago in June 2000. At the beginning, most of the member institutions were American, but in later years, the greatest increase has been in Europe and on other continents. As of January 2020, SAR comprises 518 institutions in 38 countries. Oslo Metropolitan University has been a member since 2009.
The SAR Secretariat is located at New York University and is led by Executive Director Robert Quinn.
In Norway, all the universities and a number of higher education institutions are members, as well as the association Universities Norway (UHR) and the Norwegian students’ and Academics’ International Assistance Fund (SAIH). These institutions came together in May 2011 and established the Norwegian SAR section. The former Oslo and Akershus University College, now Oslo Metropolitan University, hosted the launch and was the coordinating institution for SAR Norway up until 2014. A steering committee is selected to lead the work of SAR Norway and consists of contact persons from five member institutions.
Oslo Metropolitan University
OsloMet hosts two scholars per year through SAR.