Last night we attended one of the many hustings (‘debates’) taking place for the election of the new Provost of Trinity College. Unfortunately there is no debate. All the candidates accept that the state should no longer provide free and equal education (because the government has decided the banks and bondholders are more important). Most of then encourage the re-introduction of fees. All think that we need to be led down a new path, a path of endless competition on a global market for resources, for private finance, funding, international students, top-brass academics and ‘visibility’. The only future, they say, is a neoliberal one.
They have all accepted that education can no longer be a free and universal right because of the ‘crisis’.
But there is still independent and critical thought in the university. We have to show that there is resistance to the neoliberal consensus, that there can be alternatives.
Having read their lyrical (empty) manifestos we took the liberty of giving each of the candidates one of the letters we sent to the outgoing provost (to which we have still not received a reply) which you can read on this blog.