★ ISM - UK
The following message was sent to the ISM (global) mailing list on November 29th:
100 hours of Sit-in
at the University of Bucharest (Romania)
~ stated on November 24th, 6pm ~
Students and others gathered at the SIT-IN at the University in Bucharest.
The banners in the back say „Canes cannot replace ideas” and „Obedience suffocates the conscience”.
On the 24th of November at the University of Bucharest, a public debate over the current state of affairs of education has been organized. To stop the students and others to peacefully debate and protest, the University authorities have sent plenty of private security agents to try to stop the event.
Taken from the Free Education Montreal (FEM) homepage.
Students Resist State Abandonment
of Public Education
The government of Bangladesh introduced a new funding rule (clause 27(4)) that forces Jagannath University (JnU) to generate its own funds - consequently work without state support by 2012 and therefore be run like a private company. It is worth mentioning that JnU is suppose to be a public institution.
The university now needs to look for funds elsewhere. Usually there are two potential sources: fees and private investors. Of course fees are obviously not in the interest of the public, since it restricts access to education even further. Private investors are also not favorible, since independent teaching and research is vital not just for proper science, but for society in general. And emancipatory education financed by profit-driven interests is not possible anyway.
Following this new rule students on the ground assume that semester fees will be increased by 600% (previously: 3,500 BDT = 34€ = 47US$ - soon: 20,000 BDT = 195€ = 266US$).
At this stage only Jagannath University is directly affected. All financial support for JnU by the government should cease for by 2012. If this transformation succeeds, then at least two other universities are to follow by 2017.
It is worth noting that the public was informed about these changes through a newspaper report on September 25th (sunday).
As a direct reaction thousands of students began to block roads around campus and the High Court, demanding that this new rule be scrapped again. Police were called in and began to charge protesters with batons to disperse the crowd. Demands of the students also include the reinstatement of university dormitories, the setting up of a library, and the improvement of transport facilities as well as the branch closure of Bangladesh Bank office on campus.
This development is a symptom of the currently dominating economic system and part of the commercialisation process within education. This is the future for all of us around the world - unless we finally connect and fight back together (e.g. "Global Weeks of Action for Education" - November 07 - 20th).
~ September 22nd ~
European Education Ministers meet in Kiev:
Counter Forum Prohibited + Protesters detained
Education ministers from across Europe met in Kiev (Ukraine) for the so called "Forum of European Education ministers" hosted by the Ukrainian government today. Since people in the Ukraine struggle against the increasing commercialisation of education just like everyone else around the world, some students decided that this meeting can't just take place silently.
More than 100 students gathered to voice out their opposition to the dominant education policies in the Ukraine and acorss Europe. The protesters were faced with a massive police presence, even riot police was used to keep the students from voicing their opposition.
The police was aggressive and at some stage attacked protesters. Four activists, three of which are members of Direct Action (a network of independent student trade unions), were detained. The police "offered" to release them again in exchange for everyone to stop protesting. But since they saw that this "offer" showed no effect, the activists were fortunately released a few minutes later again.