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Ivan Illich, 'The Cultivation of Conspiracy' (1998) 

Learned and leisurely hospitality is the only antidote to the stance of deadly cleverness that is acquired in the professional pursuit of objectively secured knowledge. I remain certain that the quest for truth cannot thrive outside the nourishment of mutual trust flowering into a commitment to friendship. 


Ivan Illich, Deschooling Society' (1970) 

Links to a hypertext site of the whole book. Kind of underpins a lot of what we are trying to do;

Deschooling Society, a conference at the South Bank Centre London, April 2010: a (long) series of podcasts are available here: http://thehayward.southbankcentre.co.uk/category/deschooling-society/ 

The amazing, Mobile Academy were part of Deschooling Society: http://www.mobileacademy-berlin.com/index.html  Click on "Blackmarkets", but really it's all relevant.

Curating Future Learning is a blog post about the Deschooling Society event last year. It discusses learning in cultural contexts and what it might tell us about the future of education; calls for and describes an Open Context Model of Creativity.


Living EducationTM (USA) is a collaborative of people who became deeply concerned about the fragmentation and mechanization of the educational process and its disconnect from the current world situation. We found that many times educational organizations are insular form their community and have a philosophy that is not congruent throughout the structures and processes of the organization. Therefore Living Education was founded as a way to raise awareness about Regenerative Education and to enable educational organizations to be in harmony with themselves and to add value to their community.http://livingeducationgroup.com/Welcome.html- no personal links, just looked interesting.


John Geraci: Higher Education About To Be Disrupted Right Before Our Very Eyes (September 2011)

I think we will see a giant wave of “new learning” spaces around the world. Some will be great. Some will be awful. But traditional, institutional graduate programs, at least the ones that give you a degree that isn’t essential to a career (like a medical degree) over the next ten years either will wither on the vine or else radically transform themselves to stay alive, becoming much more like accelerators in the process. And that’s not necessarily good or bad in and of itself (or rather there’s both good and bad in it). I’m not celebrating this or complaining about it. I’m just saying: there’s a huge opening here for a correction and a new way of thinking, and it’s going to happen right before our eyes. 


NYT: End the University as We Know It


this mass-production university model has led to separation where there ought to be collaboration and to ever-increasing specialization...[which] encourages an educational system that has become a process of cloning. 


The dirty secret of higher education is that without underpaid graduate students to help in laboratories and with teaching, universities couldn’t conduct research or even instruct their growing undergraduate populations. That’s one of the main reasons we still encourage people to enroll in doctoral programs. 


Live and Learn: Why we have college

It’s possible, though, that the higher education system only looks as if it’s working. The process may be sorting, students may be getting access, and employers may be rewarding, but are people actually learning anything? Two recent books suggest that they are not.


the system has become too big and too heterogeneous to work equally well for all who are in it. The system appears to be drawing in large numbers of people who have no firm career goals but failing to help them acquire focus.... when motivation is missing, when people come into the system without believing that what goes on in it really matters, it’s hard to transform minds.


(I'm glad someone's shared this article - I think it's a really important framing for The University Project).


[From The Society for Curious Thought] Re-imagining the university (again, but this time differently) by Keith Kahn-Harris


Attempts to re-imagine the university often fall to convince. They can be too conceptual, getting lost in abstract ponderings on the nature of education. They can be too partial, obsessing on a limited set of issues such as access or examinations. They can simply be impractical, failing to acknowledge the realities of the current situation. Visions of the new university have to be visions of how to make it work.



Richard H Roberts, 'Religion, Theology and the Human Sciences' (Cambridge University Press, 2002):

Given present conditions, I believe that the future survival of fundamental truth-seeking, the production of knowledge and genuinely 'owned' university teaching, together understood as part and parcel of the total way of life, may well only be assured through cultural migration, and the creation of new, subversive and marginal institutional embodiments. (p.xi)


'Because: A Manifesto'

An anonymous US academic on why she is leaving academia - this post seemed to speak for very many people. See also 'Because: A Response'.


Anya Kamenetz, 'DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education'

See also the website for the book.


     - 'The Edupunks Guide'

An edupunk is someone who doesn’t want to play by the old college rules. Maybe you have interests that don’t fit the academic mold. Maybe you’re in a remote location. Maybe you have a family, a job, or other responsibilities and you can’t take on life as a full-time student. Maybe you love new technology and new ways of learning. Or maybe you’re just a rebel!


Stian Haklev, Open Courses done right: Saylor Foundation

An appreciation of this US-based, non-profit foundation which aims to provide alternatives to universities, based around Open CourseWare. Is this initiative in sympathy with the University Project, possibly as a complement to convivial conversations, or is it the thin end of the wedge -- starting a process that will hollow out the very principles that are at the heart of good universities?


Mike Neary, The Social Science Centre: A radical new model for higher education

OpenDemocracy article about this cooperative project in Lincoln, inspired by the "social centres" movement.


Stefan Collini, From Robbins to McKinsey: The Dismantling of the Universities

A sharp dissection of the public discourse around universities in the Higher Education: Students and the Heart of the System government white paper, and an analysis of how this has changed since the Robbins Report of 1963. Collini's critique of the Browne Report (2010) is also worth reading.



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