The Bologna process aims at extensive convergence with the Anglo-American education system. The goal is to enter competition in the global education market to strengthen its own economic position and increase research dependent revenues. The establishment of regulative norms and the harmonization of standards are its basis and at the same time its precondition: without standardization no measurability, without measurability no comparability, without comparability no competition. Economization and competition logic are imposed on every level of the knowledge landscape.
The result is intercontinental as well as inter-EU competition, within which single universities and their departments compete amongst themselves for the best results and statistics. The processes involved in the creation of an education economy with knowledge as the traded commodity correspond with the general ambitions of privatization and commodification in all spheres of life under neoliberal capitalism. They lead to educational institution’s increased dependency on their sponsors; cynically defined as the autonomization of the universities.
In this context autonomy is a euphemism for the new forms of governing institutions. The autonomized universities are not autonomous in the sense of self-determined at all. They are rather directed to fulfil the needs of economy and industry, as well as to subjugate themselves to market logic; efficiency, competition and managerial ruling structures. The democratisation of the universities, implemented in the 1970s, is successively abolished; democratically legitimized bodies are disenfranchised and replaced by top-down hierarchical structures.
In the composition of the Bologna 3-level study model, a paradigm change has manifested itself, in the last few years there has been a shift from a pluralistic education ideal to an economy orientated education. The Academy of Fine Arts Vienna has repeatedly and explicitly positioned itself against this degradation and the establishment of the Bachelor-Master system.
We refuse to subjugate ourselves to the logic of politics and economy!
We’re fighting to define learning, teaching and research for ourselves!
We declare solidarity with the education protests in Bangladesh, Brazil, Germany, Finland, France, Greece, Great Britain, India, Iran, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Croatia, Netherlands, Serbia, South Africa, USA!"Solidarity to all those who try and refuse the accepted logic of politics and economy, with clear thought and real conviction, however it is done, everywhere that it needs to be done. Solidarity to those who both analyze the complexities of the system in which they participate and commit to direct actions, who break the false stalemate between sophisticated, rigorous thought and concrete expressions of discontent and refusal. From USA, back to you, in solidarity!
(Group statement of solidarity here.)