‘All power to the free universities of tomorrow’

The Copenhagen Free University began in 2001. It was an attempt to reinvigorate the emancipatory aspect of research and learning, in the midst of an ongoing economisation of all knowledge production in society.

It operated for six years out of an apartment. The question they asked themselves was:

what kind of university do we need in relation to the everyday?

This is in sharp contrast to the prevailing model, increasingly removed from the lived conditions, needs and desires of most people in society.

In 2010 a law was passed in Denmark that forbid the use of the name ‘University’ for any Institution other than those authorised by the state. The reason was to stop ‘students from being disappointed’.

Below is a statement against his law from those who were involved in the Copenhagen Free University. While their project stopped in 2007 the need to resist the ongoing colonisation of our thought and learning is more urgent than ever.

“We call for everybody to establish their own free universities in their homes or in the workplace, in the square or in the wilderness. All power to the free universities of the future.”

Read the full statement here.

3 Responses to ‘All power to the free universities of tomorrow’

  1. Would it be feasible or worth considering the adoption of the title of Multiversity, to establish the many perspectives and the need for dialogue, critical discourse studies, and dialectics, in establishing transitory Knowledge?

  2. It is always worth considering different possibilities but the power of the statement made by the Copenhagen Free University is the idea that the current ‘university’, and the claim that the state is trying to make on it, is no longer the university. The university by its nature is ‘universal’, that is open to everybody, not for those with certain exam results, incomes, nationalities, research interests prescribed by funding requirements etc. At the moment the university (including in this country) is clearly not living up to the principle of universality. In that case we (everybody) need to reclaim the university, including the name.

  3. Pingback: Policy intervention renews free University movement « CHRIS FREMANTLE

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