Monday, 30 March 2015

Students, the crash, and critique

Occasionally I find myself bemoaning the passivity of Irish students in the face of the economic crash, and its impact on their lives, their education, their prospects for employment in Ireland, and the extraordinarily generation-weighted nature of Irish government austerity policies over the last eight years - against their generation and in protection of that of their parents.  But this is not, in fact, an entirely fair judgement.  Irish students have marched and protested over rising registration fees in large numbers.  In the last few weeks, students at the National College of Art and Design have occupied parts of their college in protest at budget cuts and inadequate work space.  And this occupation is occurring in partnership with an increasing number of student protests not only at austerity policies, but at the neoliberalisation of the university institution in Ireland, Britain, and elsewhere. Student participation in such protest and critique is essential for the movements against the 'managed' and marketised university to gain proper heft and momentum.   So the joint statement from the youth section of the Irish Congress of Trades Unions, the Union of Students of Ireland, and the Irish Federation of University Teachers (the main academic union) is especially welcome:

ICTU Youth, USI and IFUT statement in support of University of Amsterdam occupation


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