We have seen a massive expansion of university education in most countries. At the same time the work of university lecturers has been more tightly controlled and they have suffered at least a relative pay cut. As a result, we have seen more strikes by university lecturers and other staff in Britain and in Nigeria.
This pamphlet is written by a leading British socialist and university professor who was born in Zimbabwe. He uses the example of Britain to explain how privatisation, deregulation and competition, the central aspects of neoliberalism, have impacted on university life for both students and staff.
He calls for a united fight back against neoliberalism explaining:
“Fortunately, neoliberalism is facing increasing resistance in higher education. In the spring of 2006 students in France and Greece succeeded, with the help of university teachers and other workers, in defeating pro-market government “reforms”. Britain didn’t see anything so spectacular, but university teachers in Britain mounted a three-month assessment boycott over pay. These struggles have unfolded against the horizon of the global resistance to neoliberalism that started with the protests at Seattle and Genoa.”
The strikes by ASUU and other trade unions in Nigeria are part of this global fight. We have to try and understand the neoliberal ‘reforms’ to be able to be more successful in fighting against them. This pamphlet will help with this task.