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Coordinator: David Hughes

David ‘Aphid’ Hughes is one of the future-shocked who is finding his place in a world he tries hard to understand. He has spent most of his time in pubs and is a great example of a little knowledge being a dangerous thing. A sociable Henry’s cat with a moustache and a bald head. He has many ideas and concepts and is looking for the right people to throw them at.  David cofounded Glasgow Ragged University producing a range of events across a variety of venues.

“I saw my place in the Ragged University as an enabler, bringing together venues, groups and individuals as well as subjects topics and experiences to form areas of society where ideas, discussions, projects and relationships can flourish and be challenged…

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Coordinator: Dan Zambas

Firstly I want to say thank you – I have had the incredibly fortunate pleasure of watching Ragged grow from the very start. Its simple philosophy really struck a chord with me, something so obvious but equally necessary – “What do you love? What do you want to know? What do you want to be?” and most importantly “Did you know this existed?”. These are the questions that we do not ask our children in our current education system, and this ideal has been born out of the very absence of this question. For that, Alex, thank you.

I’m a parent to two wonderful little girls, little bright sparks whose existence helped inspire Alex to begin his journey with Ragged. My family are the reason I do what I do, like so many of us, and the support in my own musical journey… well words just want say quite enough what that means to me.

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Ragged University and People Know How by Glenn Liddall

Alex Dunedin of Ragged University and I were introduced through a mutual acquaintance who simply said “You both need to talk” because we are both involved in the idea of cultivating community and trying to create opportunities for people where they are most needed. Alex is a gifted listener and ideas person, keen to listen to people, appreciate the time and energy they have invested in their subject, and try and support them to get where they want to be – wherever that is. Read more

Ragged University Has No Funding: Anyway, It Is Not About Money

Recently I was met with disappointment when I had to inform someone that there was no money to pay for expenses so that they could talk at a Ragged University event.  I got the sense that they wanted a token, a symbol of worth, that they were appreciated such as some petrol money or the like.  It was uncomfortable.  The point I had to make was that Ragged University has no funding – there is no money to offer as every last penny, moment or resource (that I have) is set out to create the platform and social setting so that all individuals can share their knowledge in a warm community space.

One day I hope that there will be funding – once the labyrinthine outcomes and measurements culture is negotiated, and a humanised way to illustrate the reality of the project is acceptable to those who hold the purse strings.  Just now outcomes and measurements bureaucracies appear as a deadweight costs which starve the project of the elements needed to create the educational setting.  When funding is attained – without putting individuals under microscopes and without imposing on people’s fragile personal space or thought processes – the money will still be channelled solely to creating educational opportunity. Read more

Manchester Takes Ownership of Ragged University

Hi there, Just to say that there are now 124 people in Manchester Ragged University.  The idea is simple and started five years ago from the realisation that I [Alex] – and some friends [Jes, Grant and Will] – enjoyed meeting in a pub (Rochester Castle, London) and getting the chance to spraff (chat 😉 about what had grabbed our attentions.  We enjoyed sharing knowledge, and it was always an enlightening exchange… and a fun one.

The idea grew, and you see the events which have run to date.  Over time more people got involved and stuff grew.  The website came together, we got a Facebook, a Twitter, etc, because different people did different things because that was where they got their kicks.  Time passes, and people are drawn into different things. For me, life is like crossing an iceflow; opportunity is a fine thing and it is not always easy to be able to commit to the things I would like to do… I personally run the events in Edinburgh. Read more

What Ragged University Is About

Hello All, Firstly to welcome all those who have joined the Ragged University meetup since the close of the last years events.  I am sorry not to have had time to individually welcome everyone, but there is not the time in the day, nor the hands on deck to hold all the conversations which I would like to.  I am Alex Dunedin, the main organiser of Ragged University.

There is no funding, and no paid staff; only a drive to make sure that there are free and open spaces in which we can learn through teaching and conversing – taking inspiration from the community schools of the Victorian times, also known as the Ragged Schools. Read more