★ ISM - UK
Reclaim Education - December 2013
an ISM newsletter
Reclaim Education is a newsletter done by some individuals on the ISM platform. It consists of two A4 pages and can therefore be conveniently printed onto one sheet of paper. Download the .pdf here (~ 4.3mb).
In case you are interested to work on future issues of Reclaim Education, then subscribe to this mailing list.
This edition focuses on the activities in connection with the GLOBAL WAVE of ACTION for FREE EDUCATION [Nov.17 - 23, 2013].
December 4th, 2013
Protests against Tuition Fees
and for Free Education ...
... in Taipei
Around 50 students gathered in front of the Ministry of Education in Taipei to protest increasing tuition fees. The rally was also called by the Anti-Commercialisation of Education Union (反教育商品化聯盟) - Free Education Movement, which was initiated during a meeting at the National Taiwan University following a similar protest in March 2012.
Various speeches were held, among others the severe debt many students are facing was pointed out. Many students in Taiwan - just like in many other parts of the world - are highly indebted. Each year about 400,000 students are forced to take up loans.
In Taiwan twice as many students attend private (technical) universities than public ones. Both charge tuition fees although for private ones they are significantly higher. They can afford to charge high fees because places at public institutions are limited and people need to pass a rigid selection process (usually through test results) before being able to enrol at a public university.
Ironically this makes the public universities elite institutions. Many are afraid that they might feel forced to attend private universities.
For details on the (higher) education system in Taiwan you might find this propaganda brochure from the Ministry of Education to be useful.
... in Bremen
Activities Worldwide related to the
GLOBAL WAVE of ACTION for FREE EDUCATION
The following is an attempt to put together some of the activities related to the GLOBAL WAVE of ACTION for FREE EDUCATION (Nov.17-23, 2013) sorted by locations. Basis of the GWoA was this call to action.
The GWoA was the first global coordination through the International Student Movement platform since the GLOBAL EDUCATION STRIKE in 2012.
For details click on the according city/ region:
Want to make any corrections? Noticed anything missing? Do you have any questions or comments?
Feel free to contact the ISM admin collective: ism_admin[at]lists.riseup.net
To stay connected to the flow of information on the International Student Movement (ISM) platform in the future and get involved (in coordinations in the future) subscribe to the global ISM mailing list.
Support Radio Študent in Ljubljana
Radio Študent (Ljubljana, Slovenia) emerged as a direct product of the student movement of 1968; when the first three hours of test programming were broadcast from the student dormitories in Ljubljana on 9 May 1969, no one could have imagined that at the end of the 1980s, Radio Študent would play a key media role in the independence of Slovenia. Today, 44 generations and countless individuals later, the Radio Študent Institute has over 150 regular contributors and is the oldest and largest student, community and independent radio station in Europe and a unique media, cultural, educational and research institution in Slovenia and beyond.
Yet despite its significance and the important role it plays, a systemic solution has yet to be found that would enable it to exist and develop free of the ever-present fear that it will fall hostage to the narrow interests of its various organizational founders and other external factors; in recent times, it has also been in danger of being deprived of the basic funding it requires to broadcast its regularly scheduled programming and carry out its societal mission of satisfying the educational, scientific, artistic and other needs of the student population and other groups.
Due to a drop in revenues from student work and the resulting drastic cuts made by Radio Študent's founder, the Student Organization of the University of Ljubljana, and furthermore due to the shifting of responsibility and ignorance and irresponsiveness of other competent institutions and stakeholders, a bold question mark hangs over the continued existence of Radio Študent. The question of the continued existence of Radio Student is not just a question of the survival of some radio station; it is a question of preserving independent media and independent culture and the historic achievements of independent and spontaneous student action in its most positive form. Ultimately, it is a question of civilization, a question of maintaining and preserving a culture and organization free from capital and politics.
Even at the present, Radio Študent is fighting against time, and thus working for time, for the sake of times to come; it remains faithful to the old adage from 1968 – the revolutionary year that saw its creation – in the belief that these words ring more true today than ever before:"Let's be realistic, let's demand the impossible!"
For the complete petition go to: radiostudent.si.
Sent to the global ISM mailing list on November 16th 2013:
Dear international comrades,
I'm writing in the name of the student movement Iskra from Slovenia. The students here have found ourselves in a bad situation and we are asking for international solidarity and support.
What is happening? Our government are introducing tuition fees and commercialising public universities. In Slovenia, all education, up to the university level, has been free of charge since the end of WW II. Along with other social services it has contributed to the formation of one of the most egalitarian societies on the globe. The things are changing, of course, and similarly as (probably) in your own country, we've been constantly loosing our social rights for 20 years or so. Now they aim at education. Our student movement has started a campaign against the new Law on higher education and we've even been successful to some extend in creating a pressure on the government. The minister of education took us seriously enough to invite our representatives to a meeting yesterday. But unfortunately it was one thing that he promised behind the closed and something else that he later said for the media. So it was just propaganda for them to meet us.
How would we like you to help us? We want to enhance the pressure on the government and educate the general public on what commercialisation of education really means. Therefore we would be really grateful if you could record a 10-15 min video on the situation in your country. If your university level education is free, which is rare I believe, you could talk on how it benefits to the society, equal rights, welfare, economy... If your higher education is commercialised or even privatised, please explain everything on how commercialisation happened and what the consequences are: how it affects the students, the teaching level, the social picture of the country, what the lobbies in the background are,...
We would like to make a youtube collection of such contributions or even make a longer online video on commercialisation and privatisation of universities. I believe this will be a very helpful contribution to all the students movement around the world.
Please notify me if you are planning to record such a video (firstname.lastname@example.org)
, so that we know how many to expect. We would need the videos as soon as possible (ideally, by the end of the next week). The 29th of november is the last day of the public debate on the law and the Parliament are going to pass it (or hopefully not) afterwards. It would be best if you talked in English, if this is possible. Otherwise you can send us a written record of your video and we'll arrange for subtitles.
Thanks a lot to everyone. One world, one struggle!