Australian universities are increasingly being run like big corporations. As vice-chancellors earn millions and students are funneled through like cash cows, rampant casualisation, job insecurity and wage theft plague the sector. Expensive degrees are leaving students in decades of debt.
What limited democratic processes that were present in our universities have been eroded. State and federal legislative efforts have seen elected staff and students on university governing bodies replaced with appointed corporate elites.
Universities should not be seen as job factories, but as places of knowledge creation which hold power to push society forward. Universities must be democratic and operate to serve the public good.
Senator Mehreen Faruqi has recently published a discussion paper on these topics called, ‘The University of the Future’. The ideas and questions throughout have been presented in order to provide a starting point for richer, more radical conversations about the future of universities.
The paper canvasses:
- University democracy and reclaiming campuses for staff and students;
- Secure jobs and reversing casualisation;
- Encouraging student activism and campuses as political spaces;
- Equity and anti-racism;
- First Nations knowledges, research, and leadership
- Academic freedom; and
- Free education and abolishing student debt, among many other issues
Senator Faruqi would like to engage with university staff and students, and the community from across the country to hear contributions on this paper. Collected ideas will inform future Greens policy and legislative action on higher education.
Please submit your responses to the paper in the form on this page in the coming months so that your contribution is heard.
You can download The University of the Future discussion paper here.