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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