April 19, 2011 Leave a comment
A question often asked is what the university has to do with the general crisis in society? Clearly all public institutions are faced with cuts to their funding. In the university this has led to calls by university managers for a re-introduction of fees as well as a host of other options devised to generate resources from the private sector.
But these are symptoms of a more general crisis. While it is important that we fight against these tendencies the most we can hope for from such reaction is that we maintain things as they are. By constantly being defensive we turn the university back into the closed institution of the past. We forget to think about what it is we are defending- is it exams, jaded teachers, boring, outdated text books, hierarchies, bureaucracy, an increasingly worthless qualification in an economy with no jobs?
While we must reject the current consensus that subordinates everything to the market we have to go beyond that rejection. What we want must be fought for beyond the existing university walls. The university is not separate from the world that sustains it. Connecting to other struggles, turning education into something living, is a way to go beyond the limited hopes of defending what we have. We have to aim higher.
On 13th of May a contingent from the Knowledge Liberation Front will travel to Tunisia to meet up with students and activists who have been part of a living struggle. This is not only a journey to build solidarity but also a journey to learn. It is a living education.
Read the draft call