Publicado en Time Higher Education por Tom Cutterham, el artículo Let’s take back control of our institutions, refiere a la capacidad de ser parte de organismos de gobernanza a estudiantes y personal docente / investigadores. Si bien refiere a experincias en el Reino UNido, sitúa varios ejemplos de universidades europeas y hace extensible el debate / revisión de qué ocurre en la mayoría de universidades.
Fomentar la participación democrática, argumenta el autor, va más allá de convocar elecciones o tener organismos de representación, si no que además debe fomentarse y preparar a la comunidad universitaria para ser parte responsable de las decisiones.
Earlier this year, hundreds of academics at the University of Oxford turned up to a meeting of Congregation – the institution described by Oxford as its “sovereign body” and “parliament”. Cheered on by banner-waving students and supporters outside the Sheldonian Theatre, their aim was to reverse the position on pension reform adopted without consultation by the institution’s vice-chancellor, Louise Richardson.
The debate and vote had been called at the last minute, by academics concerned that Oxford’s stance was helping legitimise cuts to the Universities Superannuation Scheme that threatened dire consequences for present and future academics across the UK. Under these circumstances, it took just 20 members of Congregation to stand up before the debate had begun to block the process by automatically suspending the session. When they did so, some 400 academics went outdoors and took their vote unofficially. The next day, Richardson backed down in the face of what she called the “depth of feeling of so many colleagues”.