On Tuesday, October 20 2009 the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna was squatted, here is the statement and the demands of the occupants:
The Bologna process aims at an extensive convergence of european Universities with the Anglo-American education system. The aim is to enter competition in the global education market in order to strengthen universitie's economic position and increase their research dependent revenues. The establishment of regulative norms and the harmonization of standards are the basis and at the same time the precondition of this process: without standardization there can be no measurability, without measurability no comparability, without comparability no competition. Economization and the logic of competition are imposed at every level of knowledge production.
The result is intercontinental as well as inter-EU competition, in which single universities and their departments compete amongst themselves for the best results and statistics. The processes involved in the creation of an education economy with knowledge as the commodity correspond to the general tendencies towards privatization and commodification of all spheres of life under neoliberal capitalism. They lead to educational institution's increased dependency on their sponsors, cynically defined as the autonomization of universities.
In this context autonomy is a euphemism for the new forms of governing institutions. The autonomized universities are not autonomous in the sense of self-determined at all. They are rather directed to fulfil the needs of economy and industry, as well as to subjugate themselves to market logic: efficiency, competition and managerial ruling structures. The democratisation of universities, implemented in the 1970s, is successively abolished - democratically legitimized bodies are disenfranchised and replaced by top-down hierarchical structures.
In the composition of the Bologna 3-level study model, a paradigm change has manifested itself, in the last few years there has been a shift from a pluralistic ideal of education to an economy-oriented model of education. The Academy of Fine Arts Vienna has repeatedly and explicitly positioned itself against this degradation and the establishment of the Bachelor-Master system.
We refuse to subjugate ourselves to the logic of politics and economy!
We're fighting to define learning, teaching and research for ourselves!
We declare solidarity with the education protests in Bangladesh, Brazil, Germany, Finland, France, Greece, Great Britain, India, Iran, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Croatia, Netherlands, Serbia, South Africa, USA!
1. We oppose ourselves to university-based organisational structures that are determined by economic ends, as well as to the privatisation of teaching, research and knowledge production more broadly. We demand the full public funding and re-democratization of all educational institutions as well as the unconditional abolition of university fees!
2. We oppose ourselves to the pseudo-autonomy of universities. We demand the immediate withdrawal of §8* of the UG 2002!
§8.: 'Upon the proposal of the minister of education, the government may impose the installation of a branch of study on a university or several universities, given this is necessary on the basis of political decisions in the fields of education or science, and given there is no related former agreement as in a contract regarding university performance.'
We demand the freedom to define what teaching and research, as well as science and art, mean in the context of our universities.
3. We oppose ourselves to quality assessments concerning science and art when these operate by economic criteria. We are against the forced imposition of self-marketing strategies on universities, and against the conflation of education with competitiveness and elitism.
We demand the abolition of knowledge surveys and agreements on productivity!
4. We oppose ourselves to the degrading transformation of universities and schools into training facilities oriented by the labour market.
We want education as space for thinking, not training as the mere reproduction of workforce!.
5. We insist that the government refrain from taking teaching and art, science and research to be seperable as objects of thought and administration. We demand that the corresponding ministeries be merged immediately.
We insist that the rector defend the position of the Academy - and not his private view - when it comes to negotiating the terms of productivity with the ministry.
We demand that the rector make sure all existing courses of study remain in place, according to the decisions taken at the academy.
We demand that all financial activities within the term of the current agreement on productivity (2007-2009) be immediately revealed.
Edited by teachers and students of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.
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