“Globally the public sector is being decimated. Universities are being starved of resources. In Greece, major universities have suspended operations indefinitely. In Ireland, academics either play the game and build compliant careers or stare helplessly like deer into the headlights of oncoming destruction. Wake up and take responsibility for the future of knowledge, indeed the whole future of a public sphere.” Professor Helena Sheehan

“There is no worse fate for the captive mind than to have no words to express that captivity. We urgently need a movement away from the kind of group-think that as the Nyberg Commission on Irish banking showed, had such catastrophic consequences for the Irish economy. We see this form of group-think at work in that terrible weasle-word ‘reform’ usually accompanied by its partner in crime, ‘radical’. What reform almost invariably means is the application of tired management recipes that have been around for three decades or more. ‘Reform’ in the public sector means a return to the Taylorist and Fordist factory paradigm of the first half of the last century as exemplified by the tellingly named Employment Control Framework.” Professor Michael Cronin

“The University is indeed in crisis, and the Humanities are the first to bear the brunt of a commercialisation agenda concentrated on ‘deliverables’ (i.e. can research be monetised.) We are truly beyond the point of parody when Irish media gives airtime to the ‘perspectives’ of IBEC, or most recently the head of Dimplex, on education. No appreciation for academia (and more frequently no experience of it either) informs such commentary; the folly of tailoring education to the immediate demands of the private sector can be seen in the present number of un-(and under-)employed solicitors, architects and quantity surveyors, inter alia. Enough!”  James Cussen, University College Cork

“I am deeply concerned by a narrow instrumentalist view of universities. Freedom of thought and creativity are essential for new generations given the hugely complex challenges they face as a result of our current market & political systems. Profit agendas & managerialism are a short-term limited view of the challenges facing universities, and can constrain options for more meaningful reform. Vanessa Liston

“An overdue but most welcome campaign that could give some hope to many who have a deep attraction and affection for the committedly humane, scholarly, independent academy which is still important to a critical and open democracy”.  Aidan Seery

“Happy to sign this petition. As a member of IFUT since joining the Irish university sector, I have seen too much deliberate damage done by leadership that should know better.” Conor Galvin

“Managerialism and commercialisation are fast becoming the drivers of Universities. The old Newtonian ideas of a university are being fast eroded.” Tom Andrews

“As a lecturer and IFUT union rep, I am all too aware of the impact that the current climate is having on teachers, researchers and students. Universities should be seeking to offset the impact of economic conditions by providing a safe space for learning, teaching and research and not adding to the stresses that we all experience.” Catherine Emerson

“As a member of IFUT I fully support the principles outlined in this petition. They define what a university should be now and in the future both for the sake of education and Irish society.” Philomena Donnelly

“This is an urgent campaign and I am delighted to be able to indicate my solidarity on the issue and the matters in need of immediate attention to defend education for students, colleagues and the future of this country.” Maeve OBrien

“‘Good governance’ for the University sector should govern for the lifelong benefit of the student, not short-term needs of this mornings job offers. Remember, Google was founded by two Ph.D. students, not some corporate R&D division.” Andrew Butterfield

“As a retired Professor of Chemistry and having spent my whole working career in University Research and Teaching, I am well aware of academic deterioration; this is largely due to over-emphasis of the recent idea that Universities must make a profit. As a result, the original concept of a University is being lost.” Prof Breandán Ó Cochláin

“I strongly support this petition – universities world-wide have a duty to promote and support public good by investign in people in hard times as well as good times.” Judith Holton

“I am delighted that this petition has been set up. In almost quarter of a century teaching at UCD, I have seen the bloating of administration, the attempts to impose more measurement of academics, and the degradation of the degree programmes through imposition of ill-thought-through ‘one size fits all’ teaching strategies. Collegiality has definitely been tossed out of the window.”  Alun Carr

“The true spirit of learning in academia is the bedrock of a balanced wholesome society. We must not lose it to short term economic interests of a select few. As a citizen and as an IFUT member I fully support this petition.” Madeeha Khalid

“Read John Masefield’s speech in praise of the university: “There are few earthly things more beautiful than a university.” It is deeply inspiring – easily found on the web.” Fran O’Rourke

“The slash and burn management style right across the third level sector needs to stop somewhere.” John Tunney

“4 years ago we received 4.8k per engineering student; now less than 1.9k — could run your business on 1/3 the income?” Prof. Debra F. Laefer

“You can only sell the education of the people to the multinationals if you do not believe in freedom and free thinking.” Alan Egan

“We need new knowledge and we need an Irish University.” Anna Ni Neachtain

“Is maith agus is mithidh an idirghabháil seo chun teacht roimh géarchéim na hollscoilaíochta agus chyun cur ar son feabhas agus fiúntas an oideachais.” Éanna Mac Cába (Ball de IFUT)

“This is a timely petition on what should be a matter of great public concern. The disease of managerialism has crept up on many of our European universities. Perhaps from outside it is seen as ‘efficiency’ but those of us within the system know only too well how the drive towards top-down models of decision making saps the natural strengths of academic communities.” Paul Engel

“If we do nothing then the trend of increasing erosion of the public institutions of education will continue until the third level institutions are staffed by contract workers and attended by students entering into lifelong debt.” Gavin Mendel-Gleason

“The capacity of Ireland to sustain its good position in tertiary education will inevitably be adversely affected by the austerity measures which have been implemented over the past four years. For example a recent Bologna implementation report illustrates that Irish tertiary education had the greatest fall in public expenditure (of 34.6%) of all EU countries in the year 2009-2010 .” Sheelagh Drudy

“For democratic public ownership and management of universities.” Richard Manton

“Our best hope to get out of this economic downturn lies in our future leaders, do we really want to limit the responsibility of a nation to a few rich kids or will we support equal opportunities to ensure a wider scope of possibilities and opportunities for our country. Enough said.”  Marybeth Herron

“Universities are not businesses. Funds should be directed towards improving facilities and teaching quality and not diverted as “profits” for shareholders. It is essential to protect curiosity driven research, the arts and humanities, and participation from disadvantaged backgrounds.” James Barrett

“In order to keep Irish Education one of the highest standard in Europe we need to keep equal access for all, not just those who can ‘afford’ to go to college. Raising fees would mean massive drop in college goers numbers and have less educated work force in the future, if anything fees should be lowered to allow even more people to come from Secondary School into Higher Education.” Emma Kavanagh

“Forbairt fhoghlama agus phearsanta roimh fhorbairt mhaoine.” Niall Mac Uidhilin

“Large companies own enough of our lives, let them not buy our minds too.” – a private sector worker Aoife Holden

“I’ve watched as Irish universities have slipped down the rankings, and short-sighted ‘cost-benefit’ analyses of a public good as complex as a university are not the way back.”
Robert McDonnell

“We must fight – and win – against the managerial culture and commericalization of learning and research. Current policies are dangerously harmful in the long term. And if €nda Kenny wants a true knowledge economy, he needs to learn what makes that happen – research, well-funded research.” Cormac O’Brien

“This is a great initative and deserves widespread support from teachers and students who value critical inquiry.” Eoin Devereux

“Business and academia should work together to bring about positive change in society that is both sustainable and beneficial to both parties and the society they seek to serve. Turning academic institutions into enterprises, forcing them to generate profits immediately undermines their ability to produce quality graduates and not simply manufacture acceptable employees for their stakeholders.” Sean Walsh

“Students ARE the life blood of what we do. It is not just about thinking, but passing on the skills of thingking so that we have a society that can evaluate, challenge and critique what we do and think.”  Lynette Mitchell

“I hope the Department of Jobs is listening closely!!! Let us end the delusion that Universities can be saved simply through ‘teaching innovation’ and striving for ‘technology transfer’, rather than by funding them properly with no-string-attached. Let us get back to educating the masses, engaging in research for the good of all people, and acting as the intellectual nerve center of the nation.” Paul Higgins

“Need to engage in critical discourse on ethical-values that should be promoted in the management, teaching, learning and research in higher education in Ireland.” Charlotte Holland

“It is never outdated to reflect upon ‘what is the social role of the university?” Karine Dalsin

“The public university is strength and future of the people of a country.” Dimitrios Panagiotopoulos

“No society can be civilised without a system of education that is independent of politicians and business.” Anna Zueva-Owens

“Your struggle is our struggle, in Greece. Standing together we can win it!” Rania Astrinaki

“As a PhD student at the University of Liverpool, much of what is being written here is also happening in the UK. We must support Universities, both in Ireland and the UK. Education at all levels should be protected.” David Shaw

“As chair of the Higher Education and Research Standing Committee of ETUCE, I strongly support the 10 statements and wish IFUT and your colleagues all the success this important campaign deserves.” Jens Vraa-Jensen

“A public discussion of the purpose, structure and culture of our hierarchical male dominated public universities is badly needed. Managerialism has many problems but a nostalgic return to collegiality is not the solution. Thank you for starting the discussion.” Pat O’Connor

“the Danish university teachers strongly support the Irish campaign” Leif Sondergaard

“We support our Irish colleagues in their new campaign to defend the university as a public good. In Ireland, as in the UK, marketisation, privatisation and increasing managerial control of both teaching and research are combined with increased workloads, casualisation and cuts in the real pay of staff to undermine the role and function of the university, which is essential to a civilised society.”  Simon Renton

“I’m 100% behind this campaign as a student in her final year of a degree in Education & Training…I’m extremely passionate about teaching/research & believe this is an excellent initiative!” Melanie Murphy

“I endorse all of the 10 principles of this Defend the Irish University Charter, in particular those supporting “all aspects of human endeavour” as opposed to outputs of “human capital”, the vision of students as becoming “enlightened and humane individuals” , and the emphasis on collegiality, dignity and respect as opposed to surveillance and managerialism.” Dervila Cooke

“A University education should serve the wider interests of society, not just the short-term interests of corporations. It should teach individuals to think critically rather than meekly accepting what they are told, to challenge and be constructively critical, to be open to alternative views and experiences. It involves learning how to be, rather than merely being trained on what to do.” Paul Graham Morris

“Ag cur mo chuid dlúthpháirtíochta leis. Táimid ag iarraidh an oideachas is fearr a fháil ar ár son féin agus in aineoinn scoilt aicme–ní ar son comhlachta ná margaidh!” Aaron Mac Gafraidh

“It is crucial to defend public higher education everywhere against the ‘disruption’ of neo-liberalism. Best wishes, Campaign for the Public University (UK) http://publicuniversity.org.uk”  John Holmwood

“For too long we have put up with the creeping marketisation of higher education – we have to say no now to the currently pervasive and deeply corrosive view of the student as customer, the lecturer as service provider and the university as a business. As a graduate of an Irish university, a colleague and a member of the UK University and College Union (UCU) I wish you all the best with this call ” John Gray

“Irish Universities have a fine record of teaching and research and it is important (both within and beyond Ireland) that this tradition should not be destroyed by harmful cuts in staffing and other resources.” Michael Anderson

“Universities are about exactly the kinds of principles contained in the petition. It is to the shame of governments on both sides of the Irish Sea that they do not see universities in these terms.” Peter Duncan

“Well said. I work in UK education and I am beginning to develop similar concerns about threats to the quality and integrity of our education. i do not believe these trends will increase efficiency, but that they will actually undermine it with enormous waste of effort which should be focused on teaching and research. The universities in Ireland have a good international reputation – don’t lose it.” Christine McCourt

“Higher education should be about education, not about commercialism. Politicians need to understand this breathtakingly simple fact.” Nick Whitelegg

“This petition and initiative are so important as we see a shift globally to the commercialization of research and the commoditisation of education. From Henry Giroux in the US and Canada to Terry Eagleton in the UK, we need academics to speak out and ultimately take a stance against the erosion of our profession and the casualisation of the workforce. In protecting a critical and free-thinking third-level sector we will retain an important institution for social commentary and reflection. As education becomes more determined by market forces, academics are pressured into graduating trained workers rather than educated citizens. The economic function cannabalises the social function. Dissension against this new neoliberal managerial paradigm is costly and fear is evidenced by the anonymity in many of the stories we hear. It is time to bring this into the light and actually fight it. I fully support this initiative.”  Dr Jonathan Murphy , Dublin Business School

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