Brainstorm: “the future of the university”

DAG and ReThink RUG are organizing a brainstorm about the future of the dutch universities, and the future of the UG in particular. The brainstorm is open to everyone. Read the full invitation below.

If the university is an institute that has to critically examine the world in which it is based, she also has a responsibility to critically reflect on itself. The teachers and researchers that united under the name of ReThink RUG three years ago thought the same. Their founding was caused in part by the then on-going occupation of the Maagdenhuis building of the university of Amsterdam.  At the time, teachers and students of the UVA were facing yet another round of budget cuts to their humanities faculty and decided to symbolically take control of the executive building. The occupation grew into an iconic protest against neoliberal policy, commercialization of education and the much-loathed ‘efficiency-thinking’.

ReThink shared much of the occupiers’ criticism and wrote an open letter to the central management of the university of Groningen, which was signed by many staff members. In the letter ReThink criticized the ever-increasing workload, restrictive quantitative evaluation procedures, the lack of a real say in policy-making and the commercialization of education in general. The letter caused much controversy, but since then it seems as if little has changed at the UG. 

That means it is time to take inventory once again. To that end, ReThink and DAG are organizing an open brainstorm on the state of the Dutch university in general and the UG in particular. Though this meeting was already planned before history professor Eelco Runia published his controversial goodbye letter to the faculty of arts in national newspaper NRC, we can also take the time to consider some of his remarks. The meeting is intended as a constructive effort to get staff and students together to think about the way forward for our academic community. Therefore every student and staff member is more than welcome to express their concerns and join the discussion on the future of the university.

DAG and ReThink are not in any kind of official collaboration, but share certain ideals and the wish for a healthy open discussion and self-criticism.

The open meeting will take place on February 1st from 10:00 to 12:00 at the Harmonie building, 1313.0309

The meeting will be bilingual and remarks in Dutch or English can be summarized in translation by a chairman.