Education and the Enclosure of Knowledge in the Global University
AbstractThis article is based on a talk given by Silvia Federici at the University of Leeds in November 2007. In it the author addresses the crucial issue of how knowledge is being enclosed in the global university. Federici has decades of experience in universities systems spanning Africa, Europe and the USA and her experience of African universities has shown us how structural adjustment policies squeezed funding to African universities and restructured them in conformity with the interests of global business values. Federici points to two trends: the first is the growing commercialisation and corporatization of academic life, and in particular the penetration of business interests within the university, and the second is the development of educational institutions that are reshaping educational programs, in particular through the growth of standardised on-line courses taught in what David Noble has called “digital diploma mills”. Federici ends by looking at resistance on campus, drawing on the example of the Democratizing Education Network.
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