universities

Italy does not tolerate organised protest: students prosecuted

An update on on changes to higher education and student protests in Italy as well as the government's legal repression of them.

At the end of 2010, there was widespread protest by students and university precarious workers against the reform of the university system in Italy. This reform took place during Silvio Berlusconi’s government, and was drafted by minister Mariastella Gelmini.

Tristram Hunt: Labour party scab

Tristram Hunt: scab

Labour party shadow education minister and Engels biographer Tristram Hunt crossed a picket line of striking university lecturers at Queen Mary University on 10 February to lecture to students on Marx and Engels.

The strikers, members of the UCU union, were taking part in a two-hour "lightning" strike as part of an extended campaign of industrial action against real pay cuts - the government's 1% public sector pay, which is well below the rise in the cost of living.

The Morning Star quoted a striker as saying the shadow minister looked "shamefaced" as he scabbed on crossed their picket line.

IWGB strike action at the University of London

IWGB picket

Outsourced workers at the University of London’s Central Administration, employed by Cofely GDF-Suez, will be striking this Monday to Wednesday, 27 to 29 January, 2014.

The first and third days of the strike will be at Senate House, University of London, from 6 am until 1 pm. On the second strike day, the entire picket line will board an open top bus and do a whistle-stop tour of high profile sites throughout London, including national media outlets and places of particular interest to the University of London and Cofely.

Uncivilising the PhD: for a politics of doctoral experience - Bran Thoreau

The road to a PhD is a common source of frustration. It is time to acknowledge and contest this experience as the outcome of a disciplinarian process.

As a faceless PhD student in a social science-y department, I repeatedly catch myself with the strangest metaphors to describe my research experience. The latest one is of academic work as a love relationship with a RealDoll: a lifestyle requiring sustained commitment and a rich (puppetry) skill set, to spin a tapestry of memories around an elegantly irrelevant act of masturbation.

Inside and against the university

3Cosas won concessions with a 2 day strike - and announced a 3 day one

With recent strikes, occupations, and violent repression, the university is becoming a battleground. What does this mean for university staff and students?

To begin, I should stress that the choice to be inside the university is disappearing. Whether by escalating indebtedness, involuntary outsourcing, or indeed, summary suspension for political activity, exclusion from the university is making a comeback.

'Dear Vice-Chancellor' - a porter's resignation letter

This resignation letter was sent by one of the 235 workers at the University of Sussex, who are being outsourced by university management.

Dear Vice-Chancellor,

Wave of repression against students

Police outside Senate House, the inspiration for Orwell's Ministry of Truth

Five students at the University of Sussex are suspended, while police violently break up an occupation of Senate House in London.

Sussex

Sheffield strikes back, occupy tallest university building in the UK

Sheffield Strikes Back, a newly formed broad left group of Sheffield students, have occupied the Arts Tower – the tallest university building in the United Kingdom.

The group, which includes activists from Sheffield Autonomous Students, Revolutionary Socialists Society, Labour Students, Socialist Students and the Living Wage campaign, walked into the lecture hall at about 7:30pm and have now claimed a major lecture theatre and the building foyer.

Sussex and Birmingham Universities occupied

For the second time this year, Sussex University and Birmingham University have seen students occupy buildings on campus in protest against privatisation, outsourcing, lack of democracy, and tuition fees. The Sussex occupation will soon enter its fifth day, however, the students occupying the Aston Webb building in Birmingham have been forcibly evicted by the police and bailiffs, earlier today.

Sussex University
Over forty students are into the fourth day of an occupation of a building (Bramber House) at Sussex University, protesting against working practices at the university and against what they claim is the ‘privatisation’ of university services. Catering services are being sold off to a private company who are then seeing their terms and conditions stripped.

An account of the universities strike, 31 October 2013

An account by Demogorgon, a left communist clerical worker and member of the International Communist Current, of the run-up to an day of the joint union strike action in UK universities, including a leaflet she/he distributed beforehand. We do not necessarily agree with all of bit but reproduce it for reference and discussion.

I work in Higher Education in a low-grade administrative function. My workforce is ‘represented’ by three unions: Unite, Unison and UCU. On the 31st October, and for the first time ever, all three unions called a sector-wider strike over the issue of pay.