Monthly Archives: March 2015

Democratizing the University

Inspirational struggles in Amsterdam and beautifully articulated

ReThink UvA

The recent student protests, which have their roots in issues at the Faculty of Humanities, have opened the door for a discussion about much broader and more fundamental problems in the university. These problems can only be resolved by decentralizing and (re-)democratizing. Rethink UvA is committed to addressing these issues. The following short statement outlines our position.

1. Diagnosis: What’s the problem? 

Universities today are increasingly run like corporations: decision-making is not in the hands of those who work and study there, but in the hands of a remote management team that often emphasizes priorities other than education and research. Running the university like a corporation not only distorts its character as a public institution embodying a community of academics, students and staff. It also negatively impacts the crucial social goods it is expected to provide for a vibrant democratic society: education, knowledge, critical and creative thinking. This bureaucratic distortion inverts these priorities: the number of diplomas, completion rates…

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Responsible Investment


Today we handed in our open staff letter to the Senior Vice Principal and Chair of the fossil fuel divestment review group, Professor Charlie Jeffery. Signed by over 50 members of staff and academics at the university, it sends out a clear message of support for divestment from fossil fuels and arms. As the last fossil fuel review group meets, we call on them to listen to staff and students who are sending a strong message to remove investments from industries who are fueling environmental damage and social injustice.

Read  more here: The Guardian:

The National Scotsman:

Edinburgh Reporter:

The open letter:

Dear Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea,

We are proud of being part of a University which aspires ‘to make world-leading contributions to understanding and addressing global challenges’. We are calling on the University to take action to fulfill these objectives: to divest from fossil fuels…

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