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Fred Halliday was right: The LSE, Gaddafi money and what is missing from the Woolf Report

Fred Halliday has been vindicated in his long battle with the LSE over taking Gaddafi money. But the underlying reason - corporate and government pressure on the university is not addressed by the Woolf Report into the scandal.

Kettled Youth: the emergence of a new politics in Britain

A new polemic pamphlet reflects on the emergence of a new politics in Britain, through the lens of the police tactic of 'kettling' protesters

Has England's higher education come to this: “I was personally punched and thrown down the stairs by officers.”

The London police defended the Minister of Higher Education by showing that even universities are to be subject to the criticism of truncheons. The Liberal Democrats of all parties should oppose this.

New College disaster and the challenge of A.C. Grayling

In a bold new initiative, philosopher-proprietor A.C. Grayling has launched a for-profit university amidst a storm of opposition. Could it be that the prospectus is misleading, and the venture undemocratic and wrong in principle?

New College for the Humanities: Emperor's New Clothes

A team of celebrity academics, led by philosopher AC Grayling, are launching a new British private university, charging 18k per year. Far from its stated aim of helping save the humanities, the NCH will accelerate the move in the UK towards an educational culture of elites serving the elite

A Radical Manifesto for Higher Education

Our universities are under attack, with the Coalition determined to throw them to the mercy of the market. Support is growing for a Manifesto for Higher Education that sets out demands on universities and the government, but will it reignite the student movement?

MP attacks LSE professor over feminist political theory course

During a Commons debate on Human Trafficking, Denis MacShane MP accused professor Anne Phillips of filling the minds of her students at the LSE with 'poisonous drivel' concerning the difference between waged work and prostitution

A New World in the Shell of the Old: prefigurative politics, direct action, education

Online networks are increasingly seen as of huge importance for how social movements organise - be it in Wisconsin, Cairo or London. However, what is missing is the recognition that online, commons-based forms of production are methods of political contention and practice in their own right

A hundred days of occupation: the "Free Hetherington" at Glasgow University

On February 1st, a building owned by Glasgow University was occupied in protest against attempts to model the university on a business, in solidarity with the wider student movement against the rise in tuition fees and privatisation of higher education. Yesterday, the Free Hetherington celebrated 100 days of occupation

The student 'Fight Back' is still going strong

Since the release of Fight Back! A Reader on the Winter of Protest in February, much has occurred in the British student movement to give the collection new relevancy.Yesterday, the Free Hetherington occupation at Glasgow University celebrated a hundred days of occupation. OurKingdom has taken the opportunity to celebrate with them by posting a video of our launch of Fight Back!

London Metropolitan University: Crimes against Humanities

The university with the UK's highest proportion of poorer students is being assaulted by its own administration. All subject areas will be affected but Arts and Humanities are being decimated. Contrary to the Vice-Chancellor's claims, this was done without a full consultation

Black Bloc: aesthetics won't beat the cuts

Luke Cooper responds to Jonathan Moses' article on the Black Bloc. He argues that the group's "aesthetic wars" can only be reactionary in nature, not liberating.

Do the Arts and Humanities matter? Answers from across Britain's universities

At a Cambridge conference on the Higher Education reforms, leading researchers from universities across the UK were each asked to give a seven minute talk on why the Arts and Humanities matter. Now their talks are available on video.

On the Alternative Vote, who speaks for history?

After a provocative letter telling Times readers that 'history teaches us to vote no to AV', a response was coordinated by other historians who together cried 'not in my name'. The two letters are reproduced here along with commentary by Daniel-Joseph MacArthur-Seal, who helped organise the response, on the feeling among historians.

Memorandum to the London School of Economics Council warning it not to accept a grant from the Qaddafi Foundation

Fred Halliday (1946-2010), openDemocracy author and Director-Designate of the LSE Middle East Centre, 2006-2008, did not want the LSE to accept a £1.5m grant. He wrote this memo to the University's governing body in October 2009 to try to convince them to give up the money.

A social democracy of the people? A review of Fight Back!

A review of Fight Back! A Reader on the Winter of Protest, published by OurKingdom on February 15 and free to download. Stuart White concludes that the Reader is

A way forward for the Humanities?

The Coalition’s plans for higher education rest upon an anachronistic view of learning, which separates the 'practical' sciences from the humanities, viewed as a financial drain with no earthly use. Chris Parton looks to emerging interdisciplinary and conscilient fields for a way forward.

In a world where education is a commodity, why not subcontract your PhD?

In trading off plagiarism, essay-writing companies undermine basic goods in education, beginning with critical, independent thinking. But in reducing students to consumers, they may also be giving them a crash course in the prevailing attitude to education.

The Oxford Debate on Higher Education

The complete Oxford Debate on Higher Education, all six articles as featured on openDemocracy.net OurKingdom.

Fight Back! A Reader on the Winter of Protest

Read 'Fight Back! A reader on the winter of protest' here, and get all the latest information. The book is FREE to download, and available in print on Amazon and in Housmans bookstore

The dangers of kettling: a retired London policeman speaks out

Brian Woollard, a former officer in London's Metropolitan Police, expresses his alarm at the 'kettling' of demonstrations and insists that protest needs consent and dialogue.

The occupation of space

Sometimes, the self-referential, apolitical worlds of art and architecture intersect with politics in unexpected ways. In mid-December, as the students occupations spread, on the same day as the 'Day X 2' demonstration across central London organised by student protesters against cuts and fee rises, there was a story in the local and architectural press that, for me, summed up much of what students were fighting against.

The higher education debate exposes the need for a new approach to social organisation, large and small

While we must respect the organic nature of our institutions, we must also accept them as social constructs. We need to develop a new approach to social organisation that is radically democratic, encourages accountability and works to resist tribalism.

Image of the Year: the Royals photo symbolises the productive disorder of the student protests

The shocked faces of Camilla and Prince Charles as they are attacked by a group of student demonstrators is now an iconic image. It has come to symbolise the potential of protest to break with the illusion of the separateness of worlds upon which the structures of power are built.

Is there a conservative in the House? In the clash over the UK's universities no party defends their historic calling

The higher education debate has failed to take account of the conservative perspective. The loud dispute over the reforms and their ability to support universities in their 'proper function' has drowned out the conservative argument that such criteria - of success, power and utility - should not be imposed on the education system.

The proposed cap on international students is discriminatory and a danger to British education

The government has announced that its cap on migrant workers coming into Britain from outside the EU cannot be met unless a cap is also placed on flows of international students. This proposed policy risks discriminating against students on grounds of nationality and threatens the cultural richness found in Britain's education system

Kettling - an attack on the right to protest

The British police have developed a controlling method of containing demonstrators in addition to their usual techniques. But up against large numbers and used as collective punishment it is a threat to liberty

What next for the UK's student movement?

The volcanic eruption of student anger and militancy in Britain over the last few months has blown the political space wide open, making a broad-based movement against austerity thinkable. Whether or not it can grow and ultimately succeed will depend on the next steps the movement takes.

The Con-Dem Christmas Carol

The ’12 Cuts of Christmas’, sung by student protesters on the tuition fee demonstration at Parliament Square, summed up this year’s defiantly festive spirit. You can join in the iconoclast carol with the video and lyrics in this post.

The military response to direct action, General Kitson's manual

In 1971 a counter-insurgency manual set out an operational response to non-violent direct action protest movements as well as military insurgencies like the Provision IRA in Northern Ireland, drawing on the UK's colonial experience. Today, it holds a surprise for a new reader.

Postmodernism in the Streets: the tactics of protest are changing

Three things were revealed by the recent wave of nationwide student protest. Firstly, the demonstrations represent a new political mood, that can manifest itself in excess and formless anger. Secondly, they cannot go on as unwieldy, monolithic marches. Thirdly, a new infrastructure is proving capable of rapidly mobilising disparate, localised groups in a way that can give form to the emergent appetite for direct action.

Facts on fees and the fallacies of ‘fairness’

What is the real nature of the government's legislation on higher education; what will be the consequences; and what relationship does it have to reducing the deficit? An important exchange on this issue is taking place here, between Alan Finlayson and Tony Curzon Price. Now a striking contribution with strong claims has been submitted to OurKingdom.

On London's Oxford Street with UKuncut

A friendly movement of flash protests against corporate tax avoidance when much needed public support is being cut captures public interest in the UK
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