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The Post-2008 Crisis and the Crisis of Higher Education in Cyprus

The Post-2008 Crisis and the Crisis of Higher Education in Cyprus

Victor Roudometof, President of the University of Cyprus’ Faculty Labor Union Historically, Cyprus lacked its own public universities; the first ...

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Portuguese Science: Chronicle of Death Foretold

Portuguese Science: Chronicle of Death Foretold

Helena Carreiras, Senior researcher, Center for Research and Studies in Sociology, ISCTE, Lisbon, Portugal The Portuguese government decided to overhaul ...

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The Crisis of Public Universities in Indonesia Today

The Crisis of Public Universities in Indonesia Today

Lucia Ratih Kusumadewi and Antonius Cahyadi, University of Indonesia The Indonesian Reforms of 1998 brought about massive social change. Ever ...

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Germans Boycott University Rankings

Germans Boycott University Rankings

Scientific Evaluation, Yes – CHE Ranking, No Methodological Problems and Political Implications of the CHE University Ranking German Sociological Association ...

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Neoliberalism and Higher Education: The Australian Case

Neoliberalism and Higher Education: The Australian Case

Raewyn Connell, University of Sydney [1] When neoliberal policies in Australia began to bite in the sphere of higher education, towards ...

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Carnage in Aleppo University in Syria

Carnage in Aleppo University in Syria

Eighty-seven people were killed and at least 150 injured in two explosions that struck Aleppo University in Northern Syria this ...

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Calls for Academic Freedom: Reflections on Palestine and Israel

Calls for Academic Freedom: Reflections on Palestine and Israel

Feras Hammami, KTH, Royal Institute of technology, Stockholm, Sweden “Israeli academic freedom is under severe attack”. This was written in a ...

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Report Finds Risky Money Managment by University of California

Report Finds Risky Money Managment by University of California

A report released last week by UC Berkeley students, reveal the staggering human costs of University of California’s interest rate ...

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 By John Holmwood, Nottingham University

The history of Sociology at Birmingham University has been fraught.  A Department of Sociology was first set up in 1964, but was closed in 1986. The University set up a Department of Cultural Studies and Sociology in 1991 only to close that Department in 2002. In 2004 it re-established the Department of Sociology, but in early November 2009, the Head of the College of Social Sciences announced his intention to close it and withdraw all its programmes (with the exception of a reduced undergraduate degree in Sociology to be taught by the Institute of Applied Social Studies). Sociology staff are  to be reduced from 17 to 3 with corresponding reductions in administrative staff from 3 to 1 (or none).

 This followed a review of the Department which was unprecedented in so far as all of its members were senior managers of the University and members of the management boards to which the review reported. There was no sociologist appointed to the review group and although respected external sociologists were asked to take on an advisory role, they were marginalised. The Department was not given a copy of the report until after the decision to close the Department was announced. The Department was not in deficit and its programmes are popular with students. Its undergraduate degree in Sociology is ranked 4th out of 84 in the Guardian league tables, while its undergraduate degree in Media, Culture and Society is ranked 5th out of 79.  …READ MORE

By Ruy Braga, University of  São Paulo

On June 9th 2009 the military attacked the building of the Faculty of Philosophy, Literature and Human Sciences of the University of São Paulo (USP) with gas bombs, concussion grenades and rubber bullets. It was an event at once shocking and emblematic. It was shocking because the professors gathered inside the building of the History and Geography departments never represented a threat to public order. It was emblematic because it violated a school internationally recognized for its critical, reflective production, and so, for these very reasons, traditionally insubordinate to those currently holding power and their antidemocratic projects for the University.

Evidently, there were interests behind this violence. The governor of the State of São Paulo, José Serra, and the former Rector of the University of São Paulo, Suely Vilela, were aware of what was in dispute: two antagonistic projects for the University confronted each other in 2007, when the governor aimed to expunge the University’s autonomy through his infamous decrees. At that time, the action of the oppositional forces compelled him to step back, imposing on him an unquestionable defeat after a 51-day student occupation of the Rector’s building on the University’s main campus. But a reaction was soon to follow, and the armistice symbolized by the “declaratory decree” of May of that year has been slowly repudiated. …READ MORE