[NetBehaviour] The double crisis of the university and the global economy

info info at furtherfield.org
Wed Nov 19 12:54:12 CET 2008

The double crisis of the university and the global economy

Talk: Wednesday 26 November 2008 at 4pm
Goldsmiths University of London – Warmington Tower 1210

For a number of weeks in Italy the entire education system – from
universities to elementary schools, from students to researchers and from
parents to teachers – has been mobilizing. Marches, occupations,
demonstrations, pickets and blockages of the metropolitan flow have
replaced the dreary rhythm of school timetables and university courses.
The protests are directed against the new budget cuts implemented by
Berlusconi’s government last summer, which seriously undermine the public
nature of education and research.

The university movement – self-named the “Anomalous Wave” – acts within a
specific context, such as the long crisis and decline of the Italian
higher education system. However, it also critically underlines common
trends in the transformations affecting the university at the European and
transnational level: i.e. the Bologna process, the corporatization of
education and the changes of the welfare system, the central role of
knowledge in the mode of production, the rise of casualised labor, the
emergence of a new type of student-worker figure.

Moreover, one of its key slogans is particularly interesting “We won’t pay
for your crisis”. It indicates the critical intersection of a double
global crisis: the university crisis and the financial crisis. The rise of
a “debt generation” is one of the points at which this intersection is
clearly observable. But the movement is also an occasion to formulate a
deeper, more complex analysis of this double crisis, in order to allow a
debate between different perspectives to topics such as the rise of a
global university and its various forms of translation, the conflicts in
the process of knowledge production, the role of networks in the education
and financial markets.

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