★ ISM - UK
Stop the Sell Out of the
VU University Amsterdam
The following message was communicated through the ISM platform:
Dear International Student Movement friends,
You may have heard the alarming news about severe budget cuts at universities and higher educational institutions in The Netherlands. We understand that this is not just a very local problem at our VU University Amsterdam, but that the problem occurs in the whole country and internationally. Concern is growing about the sell out of universities as public institutions. Our university is particularly ardent in its implementation of their plans to reduce fixed costs and attract more industrial subventions, bypassing advice from the official partners, the trade unions and the works council. We, students and staff-members, are taking serious action to prevent this undemocratic process and we have launched an international petition. We particularly seek support from student organisations because student facilities and teaching are the main victims of the reorganisations.
We kindly ask you to post our call for support on your website, and of course to sign it. Below is the text you could forward.
Bertie Kaal (Concerned VU group member)
CALL FOR SUPPORT
Esteemed Colleagues and Students,
We, your colleagues at the VU University Amsterdam, need your help. We seek international solidarity to stop our Executive Board from implementing a Strategic Plan based on a strict business model that has recently been rejected by the VU University’s Works Council and the Trade Unions. This plan aims at changing our university into a commercial knowledge industry, at the expense of 450 full-time jobs and severe cuts in student services. Full details on our petition site.
Please support our cause and sign the petition! Click on the button below for further information about our situation and your signature.
We urge you to distribute this international call for support as widely as possible.
The Concerned VU Group, VU University Amsterdam
Click on this banner to find out more and support the petition:
Colombo (Sri Lanka), August 29th:
Education Rally attacked by Police
while Teachers Strike
The Federation of University Teachers’ Association (FUTA) organized a strike that already started on July 4. It brought the higher education system on the island to a standstill. In a nutshell the teachers fight for:
In reaction the government decided to close 15 campuses and six other institutions indefinitely in mid August. A rally organized by University lecturers demanding the government to protect free education was held at Hyde Park in Colombo (Sri Lanka) on August 23. Trade unions representing teachers and principals, parents’ associations, organizations of intellectuals and members of several trade unions of the water, electricity, railway, and health sectors also participated in the protest march which disrupted traffic in the capital. [groundviews.org]
In reaction to this situation around 3,500 university students from across the island took streets of Colombo on August 29. They want to pressure the government to give in to the demands of the striking teachers and re-open the universities again. The protesters were met with tear-gas as well as water cannons (mixed with ammonia) and were attacked by riot police.
The students were shouting slogans and demand the state to protect free education. In reaction to the police violence protesters hurled stones back at them. Fortunately nobody was seriously injured during the clash, although many students suffered burning sensations in their eyes. No arrests were recorded.
Regardless of pouring rain, the students rallied on a main road and were addressed by a number of undergraduates who spoke about the closure of universities and how it affected them. Also addressing the rally were activists involved with the Inter University Students’ Federation (IUSF), Inter University Bhikkhu Federation (IUBF) and Inter Medical Faculty Students' Action Committee.
Melbourne (Australia), August 22nd:
Parts of La Trobe University Occupied
in Struggle against Cuts
URGENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - 7PM AUGUST 22ND -
LA TROBE STUDENTS OCCUPY BUNDOORA CAMPUS TO STOP THE CUTS
Students from the "Stop the HUSS Cuts Collective” have voted to occupy the La Trobe University campus in Bundoora indefinitely, starting tonight.
At a meeting on campus this afternoon, students voted to occupy the campus with a number of students volunteering to stay overnight and indefinitely until Open Day. The collective also demanded the rejection of the proposed cuts, for the university to enter into negotiations with the NTEU in good faith, a shift in focus on saving money to saving jobs and for a redistribution of executive pay to save other jobs at the university.
Dhaka University, July 19th:
Students Strike for Democratic Structures
Shikkharthi Adhikar Mancha, a student platform at Dhaka University (DU), enforced a daylong strike on campus in their struggle for student union elections, the Dhaka University Central Student Union (DUCSU).
DU, with 35,000 students, is one of the biggest public universities in Bangladesh.
On July 12, the protesting students' platform gave the university administration a 72-hour-deadline to announce a date for the DUCSU polls. Since there was no reaction the students proceeded with the strike.
Among others the entrances of the Arts Faculty and Business Faculty buildings, Curzon Hall, Annex building, and the Institute of Business Administration building were locked by students in the early morning. At around noon the strikers held a protest rally in front of the arts building.
Protests at the so-called
Free University of Berlin
Last Wednesday (June 6) the Presidential Boad (Präsidium) of the Free University (FU) of Berlin temporarily looked like a besieged fortress: Several hundred students rushed to the entrance to get inside the building. Reason for the siege is a new framework of examination regulations, which the Presidential Board drafted without the inclusion of student committees. This framework includes that examinations can only be repeated twice and that students can be forced to attend compulsory consultation sessions from the third semester onwards. Michael Beron of the student representative body (AStA) sees in this framework an attempt to generate "an enormous pressure to perform and conform".