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Update on the Greek Student Movement

In prep for a presentation I'm giving at Muhlenberg College this weekend, I ran into a nice (if a bit dated - April 2008) summation of the current state of the student movement in Greece - particularly its resistance to neoliberal "reforms." (Check out our earlier coverage of the issue early last year for some background.) Apparently the joint work between students and faculty against these reforms has for the most part collapsed.

Scottish Students Fight to Save Campus

The BBC is reporting on the continued organizing in support of the University of Galway's satellite Crichton Campus in Dumfries, Scotland.

Courtesy BBC News

Due to the University of Galway losing money on its Crichton campus, University officials have made repeated insinuations of Crichton's imminent closure as a branch campus. Students protesting the move have demonstrated and gathered signatures in Dumfries, but have since also started mobilizing in Glasgow itself, hoping to draw the attention of University decision-makers.

Dumfries is a unique place in Scotland; in 1999 the nation's first multi-institutional campus was founded on the Crichton estate. Currently it is home to the University of Glasgow, the University of Paisley, Bell College and Dumfries & Galloway College. The establishment of such an academic community has not only attracted international students, but also new life into a town once struggling with economic downturn. UG's warning has also threatened a £37 million expansion of the Crichton campus that was given the go-ahead less than a month ago.

There are two separate targets of these campaigns and protests: one naturally is University officials, but they are also challenging the Scotting Funding Council (a billion-pound educational resource allocator set up by the Scottish government) to live up to its mission. The SFC has had a history of financing "sexy" projects that are high-profile, but failing to fund bread and butter concerns that may not garner front page headlines. Hopefully UG's threatened withdrawal will kickstart some funds, but the people who would be affected most by the closure aren't waiting around.

From the article:

"To pull the plug on a university before 10 years are up - that is a bit short-sighted. [...] If they can close down the Crichton they can close down any of the departments up there."
The student protesters have been active in Dumfries already gathering signatures for a petition against the campus closure.
They also intend to protest in Edinburgh when the Scottish Funding Council meets to discuss the funding situation.

Fortunately for the students, they are not alone. The Director of Glasgow's Crichton campus has been on the move,

making persuasive arguments

detailing the positive educational and economic impact the campus is having.

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