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Liberating education: So right yer buggers then (Tony Harrison ‘Them and [uz]) by Eileen Fitzgerald


I will question the purpose of a University, specifically with regard to the Arts in 2020. I will look at the peculiar intersectional elements which conspire against me, working in the Arts in English Universities where my potential remains untapped because I am a working-class woman of a certain age.

I will argue the University business models of grossly overpaid Vice Chancellors inhibit creativity, damaging our society. The focus is on training and careers, on conformity and money. Universities stifle the meaningful discussion, innovation and intelligence they need to fulfil the social mission to which they pay lip service. Here we see in action DBC Pierre’s ‘governing ideologies’ mentioned in ‘Release the Bats’.

Before the days of President Trump he writes, ‘I stumbled upon the quantum place where yes meant no, where black was white, where losing an election made you president. The more I examined the space between the real and what we construe as real, the more it felt like… a key to our central dilemma’. This paper will inevitably be influenced by my own biography.

The opportunities for study I had are no longer available. The scandal of Lost Learners will also be addressed and the political catastrophe this is for our country. My generation is failing our young people and the universities are preventing us from helping. It is time for a different model.

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Ragged University is in partnership with the Working Class Academics conference sharing its ideals and love of open intellectual spaces

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