claudia bernardi on Fri, 26 Feb 2010 16:49:13 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Uniriot towars Wien- Europe calling!

On March 11th and 12th, an event that is only apparently insignificant and
self-referential will take place in Budapest and Wien: the celebration of
the anniversary of the Bologna Process, the reform of the university system
drawn up ten years ago and progressively applied in the European countries,
but not only there. Between Budapest and Wien, the 46 European Ministers of
Education will gather to toast to the failure and the decadence of the
european education system. We, that in the last years have been taking
active part in the italian struggles against the divestment of the
university, we that have crossed Europe to join other experiences that, as
we did, opposed the destruction of university and the precarization of our
lives, won't let them deceive us neither  by this farce, nor by the empty
and tired liturgy repeated by those gentlemen: "student mobility",
"euro-compatibility", " competitiveness".
Words that actually imply something quite different: deskilling of
knowledge, fragmentation of the course of studies, economic exploitation of
the students, cutbacks in public funding, gradual divestiture of the rights
and welfare structures.

During the last years, the technocratic deceit that pervaded the reform
process had been precociously unveiled by to the movements that protested
against the *Bologna Process: *these movements have foreshadowed a new
constituent european space without any nostalgia for the past, but claiming
the excess and immeasurableness of knowledge. These movements have unveiled
the real nature of neoliberism, opposing the privatization of knowledge and
the new enclosures force established through patents and copyrights. At the
same time, these movements, fed up of the control of the state bureaucracy
upon university and knowledge, claimed *a public but not state university.*

The student, as the same draft bills proposed during the last years in the
different countries are never tired of repeating, is a subject, in every
respect, intern to the work market based on knowledge. Students are at the
centre of gentrification and productive processes in every european
metropolis. Students are a social figure that produce wealth. We are not
nostalgic. On the contrary, we want to stress this centrality, reversing it
against those who used it as a rhetoric to promote new forms of

We want basic income, guarantees, decisional power, recognition of the
social activity carried out inside and outside the university to correspond
to the centrality of the student in the production. On the contrary, the
purpose of Bologna Process, behind the rhetoric of competitiveness and
efficientism, is to transform universities into places of intensive
exploitation of the new work force. The recognition of the centrality of
students in the production process coincides with a more and more violent

Italy, from this point of view, has been a veritable laboratory for testing
both the Bologna Process, and the movements that opposed it. In a country
where the continuous cuts in funding the university, still considered as a
current expenditure rather than a sector in which to invest, the
fragmentation of training, the deskilling of knowledge, the expulsion of
researchers from universities - all in a unique blend of company-oriented
rhetoric and persistence of the corporative power of the academy ? are the
prevailing features, it is easy to understand how the underlying trend in
Europe is to push down and downgrade the cognitive workforce. The very
objectives that the Bologna Process aimed at, the ones the same Italian
authors feel they have missed, resulted in a complete failure, the figures
speak for themselves: 3 +2 did not include more students into the labor
market nor there is a correspondence of the salary to their skills in a
future work. Also as far as the student mobility is concerned, it is known
that  access blocks between universities, faculties, between 3 and 2,
between the master degree and doctorate far outweigh the possibility of

The Wave, last year, was a response to all this, not only to economic
cutbacks, but to the very structure of the university. The struggles that
occurred have immediately throw into crisis the current state faced by the
universities, requiring not only more quality in training, but also and
especially autonomy in the direct management of the course of studies, in
the sharing of knowledge and research. The same opposition to corporatism
that characterizes the universities in Italy, has found a constructive
expression in the practices of independence and self-management of

The network Uniriot, since 2005, has always been having the goal of building
links and networking among other struggles that emerge in schools and
universities, with the awareness that it is always possible to detect a
trend in the closure of the control devices, as well as opportunities for
strategies and practices of moments of resistance. The experience of the
Wave has not been isolated: it had found some anticipations in the movement
against the CPE in France in 2006, as well as into the experiences of
Denmark, Greece, Holland, Germany, Croatia, Serbia and Austria. A true cycle
of university struggles is is spreading all over Europe even without a
general continuity. Everywhere we have put evidence on some decisive issues:
the quality of living conditions of young people, the need to experience
independence in the training, the opposition to the precariousness and
privatization of knowledge, the intolerance towards the present state of

We, as Uniriot network, believe that it is fundamental to cross the Vienna
days to take part both in the March 11th demonstration to challenge the
official meeting of ministers, and in the workshops of March 12th-14th. An
opportunity to rise to the fore what in recent years remained in the
background, to build a common vocabulary among all those experiences that in
recent years have opposed the process of destruction of the university. For
this reason we will organize, in the main Italian universities, caravans
reaching Vienna in the days of the summit.


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