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The International Student Movement (ISM) is an independent communication platform for groups and activists around the world to exchange information, network and coordinate activities in our struggle against the increasing commercialisation of education and for free emancipatory education for all!

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Siegen, Nov.7: Rectorate occupied !!

Siegen, Nov.7th:
150 Students occupy University Rectorate

The following is a translation of the press release of those who occupied the rectorate at the University of Siegen (Germany), located in the city centre, following a general assembly earlier today.


The protests of the students just reached a new high at 11:10am:

A part of the protest group occupied the rectorate at the University of Siegen. The protest group is independent of all pre-existing student bodies and consists of students from all faculties, who are more than unsatisfied with the current conditions at the university. With this occupation we don't only want to vent our anger through a disruptive action, but create a space, which can be used to critically reflect on and discuss the role our university as well as the education system as a whole within society.

We give our protest a wider perspective, than to just get rid of temporary grievances, and a space, which we can't don't have available on our overcrowded campus. The protest of many participants is linked to their hope, that through our criticism and demands something would change. That we ourselves can create change. But what should change? And how would it be better? What do we imagine when we hear "humanly shaped future", the motto of the university decided by our rector - and why does nobody, but ourselves, speak of a humanly shapred present? And could our ideas and visions actually be turned into reality under the given conditions? What are the possible scopes within the systems and when do we hit the boundaries? 

What roles does the 'ivory tower' university even play in our society? And who is the correct addressee for our criticism and demands? Who is responsible for these unreasonable conditions, and who could change something about this administration of misery? Or can't the grievances even be traced back to individual protagonists, like the rector?

We want to discuss these questions with students, but are not anymore willing to be lulled into 'future talk' by the rector again! This occupation of the rector's office is therefore a deliberate break from previous forms of protests.

For a truly humanly future,
the protest group from the occupied rectorate.

Original in German: (.pdf)

UPDATE: Following threats to have the occupation violently evicted by riot police, the students left the building again in the evening. (

media reports and other sources (in german): + + +

Taipei, Nov.7: Increase of tuition fees sparks more protests

Taipei, Nov.7th:
Increase in Tuition Fees sparks more Protests

Now it is official: Universities in Taiwan can increase tuition fees by 5-10% per year from 2013 onwards.
To make a stand against this policy hundreds of students, workers and teachers' union activists planned to occupy the second public hearing organised by the National Academy for Educational Research (NAER) in Taipei. The first public hearing was already successfully occupied on October 30th.

Unexpectedly. the NEAR called off the public hearing a day before. In light of these developments students, labor workers and teachers rallied at the Ministry of Education and decided to protest the tuition fee policy there. According to activists on the ground police forces prevented the crowd from breaking through the gates of the ministry.
For now, the government announced that tuition fees at colleges will not rise for the next semester only.

mainstream media report:

Sri Lanka, Sept. 24-28th: Long Marches for Free Education

Sri Lanka, Sept. 24-28th:
Long Marches for Free Education

For months lecturers in Sri Lanka have been on strike in the struggle for proper funding of public education. On August 29th thousands already took to the streets of Colombo and clashed with riot police. For details on the aims of the protests as well as pictures of that day check out

For five days (Sept 24-28th) thousands of students, lecturers, parents and others took part in two long marches for free education. Each march covered a distance 120km. One march, which was organised by the Inter-University Student Federation (IUSF) among others, departed from city of Kandy. The other march, which was organised by the Federation of University Teachers Associations (FUTA) among others, began in Galle. Both headed to Colombo and ended in a huge rally.

Check out the video below.

Take a look at this video in english:

Indonesia, Sept.27-28th: Protests against Commercialization of Education in 15 cities

Indonesia, Sept.27/28th:
Protests against new 'Higher Education Act'

On July 13 2012, the House of Representatives passed a new bill on higher education. During the plenary session, the new bill was introduced to give public universities greater autonomy in aspects of governance and seeking non-state funding, but still allows for substantially tight regulation from the government.
Activist groups across Indonesia have been protesting against the bill claiming that the provisions on 'autonomy' would pave way for the commercialization of higher education and result in increased fees. It is eminent that the privatization and liberalization of universities will turn higher education into a business commodity and this is something various activist groups are rejecting, despite what Syamsul Bachri, the head of the House working committee said; that the bill was really a “constructive effort toward managing and regulating the higher education sector to be more modern and globally competitive.”

As part of the efforts to counter this new bill students organized in the Indonesian Student Union (SMI) - which supports and prepares activities in connection with the GLOBAL EDUCATION STRIKE [Oct.18 + Nov.14-22] - organized protest actions in 15 cities on September 27/28th (see pictures below).

Here is an example (on a junction in Semarang City):

In December 2005 the government already signed the GATS (General Agreement on Trade in Services), which govern the liberalization of trade in 12 service sectors. The agreement also considers education as a public sector service that should be privatized and therefore public control to be removed. Here are some figures that might help to understand the situation better:
  • Of the 49,000 kindergartens in Indonesia, 99.35 percent are privately operated schools.
  • In contrast to the majority of privately run kindergartens, most elementary schools are government-operated public schools, accounting for nearly 93 percent of all elementary schools in Indonesia.
  • 56 percent of junior secondary and 67 percent of senior secondary schools are run privately.
  • 68 percent of all higher education students are enrolled in one of the more than 3,000 private institutions in the country. There are only about 130 public institutions.

Therefore this new bill on higher education is part of the whole process, which increases the privatization and commercialization of education even further. A process that can be observed around the world and that makes common efforts in the struggle for free emancipatory education more necessary than ever. After all education is the basis for the emancipation of the individual as well as society at large and therefore should be considered a fundamental right.

Sources: - - - -

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