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The University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) is a signatory of The Magna Charta Universitatum that has been signed by over 700 Vice-Chancellors globally. UKZN is committed to the principles laid out by Magna Charta that include: the freedom in research and training; open dialogue; autonomy; relevant teaching and research and to attain full universal knowledge.

Since its inception in 1988 the document has become the major reference for the fundamental values and principles of the university. In celebration and to commemorate the 23rd anniversary the Magna Charta Observatory organized a conference on the 15th September 2011 on Contemporary Threats and Opportunities, Academic Freedom and Institutional Autonomy within the Context of Accreditation, Quality Assurance and Rankings.

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