As students at the London School of Economics are the latest to go into occupation, Dan Hind, author of The Threat to Reason and The Return of the Public, comments on the significance of the new student movements and the prospects for radical change:
The events of the last few weeks far exceed the student demonstrations in Britain in 1968, in terms of their scale and arguably their significance. The students now have the potential to develop and popularise, in partnership with other groups, a program to tackle Britain's many economic and social problems. Their insistence that education is a public good opens the way to a wider campaign against the commodification of healthcare in particular. There are already signs that the students are connecting their campaign with the union movement - students have joined striking workers st pickets and several unions expressed their support for the occupation before the National Union of Students got round to doing so.
Hind spoke at the student occupations at UCL and Cambridge University, asking
Who determines the research agenda at the universities? And to what end? What are the consequences for the integrity of the university as an institution? And what are the consequences for society as a whole?
Visit The Return of the Public blog to read the 'Remarks on the occupations' and Hind's speech, 'Set Knowledge Free: The University as a Public Good' in full.