Newuniversitynorway.org has been formed as a response to what we see as an increasing commodification of higher education in Norway at a critical time when corporate agendas are undermining public universities and intellectual integrity around the world.
With this web page we hope to create a platform for critical discussions about the future of our universities and what role they should play in society. It forms part of an effort to reclaim this debate which has for too long been left to a small group of politicians and university management. We therefore invite a broad specter of voices to join in in imagining a “New University Norway”.
Moroversity, an academic activist alliance based in Tampere (Finland), greets the NewUniversityNorway.
Moroversity derives its name from the local vernacular, where “Moro!” is a casual greeting, highlighting the alliance’s informal nature.
Moroversity is active on multiple levels simultaneously.
In our first Open Post, sociology professor Aksel Tjora warns against the “MacDonaldification” of higher education and research in Norway. He argues that we need to act now with a strong countercurrent collective effort, across academics and students.
“A merger will contribute to an ongoing process that is eroding workplace democracy at the university in favour of a neoliberal agenda,” Michael Jones argues in this essay.
The ‘New University’ protests in Amsterdam, with similar initiatives in the UK, Canada, and Denmark have awakened students and scholars to the increasingly neoliberal management of academic institutions. While these types of changes have been implemented more gradually in Norway, discussions around increased commodification of knowledge and weakening university democracy are nevertheless on the rise.
“Når Universitetsavisa inviterer til holmgang mellom Aksel Tjora og rektor Gunnar Bovim, gir det både inntrykk av et jevnt styrkeforhold mellom to likestilte meningsmotstandere, og en personifisering av fusjonskonflikten. Begge deler er feil,” skriver leserbrevforfatterne i dette innlegget, hvor de går kraftig i rette meed rektor.