On 18 November, Students and staff at the University of Birmingham protested against the University management’s decision to put profit and the needs of business over those of education. And the fightback appears to be working!
The University of Birmingham is going through a period of intense corporatisation at present. The new vice-chancellor has recently announced plans for heavy ‘disinvestment’ (management speak for sacking workers – rumour has it that 200 jobs are to go) across the University. The University is also in the process of trying to force through a plan to close the Department of Sociology. This will lead to the loss of 16 jobs. The wider goal of the University is to turn itself into a consultancy service for government and business. It focuses on profit over learning, and the needs of business over those of student and staff.
Fortunately, the staff and students of the University are fighting back. The students put on a protest rally outside the University committee that had been set up to rubber stamp the decision. The rally was attended by over 200 students and staff. The noise from the chants could be heard inside the committee and in the end the committee decided it could not make a decision. Now the decision has been sent to another committee – the one that runs the University (and is packed full of local business leaders) to have the final say over Sociology’s fate. The students and staff are planning another big protest on Thursday to oppose the decision.
The big unions on campus – UCU and Unison – recently passed a motion of no-confidence in the College leadership. The IWW is also active on campus, organizing amongst staff and students to campaign against the closure of Sociology. AN INJURY TO ONE IS AN INJURY TO ALL!!!
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
The big decision on Sociology will take place on Thursday 26 November. Those interested in opposing the further commercialisation of Higher Education are urged to ATTEND THE RALLY that will take place in the forecourt next to the clock tower at 1.00pm Thursday 26 November.
SEND MESSAGES opposing the closure of Sociology to the University managers and business ‘leaders’ who make the final decisions over education at the Uni of Birmingham. Their details can be found here – http://www.council.bham.ac.uk/membership/profiles/
CONTACT: iwwunibrum [at] gmail [dot] com
FURTHER INFO: http://www.keepsociologyatbirmingham.com/
[reposted and adapted from report on Indymedia Birmingham by one of our Wobs]