Chattering Classes College

Andrew McGettigan (Critical Education) with some thoughts on the financial structure of the “kickstarter” free university, IF, and some worries about its pedagogical structure. The Guardian article is here: http://www.theguardian.com/education/2014/mar/18/university-humanities-not-just-rich

Critical Education

I’m getting flashbacks to the Summer of 2011. Once again, well-connected figures are garnering publicity for a start-up education initiative.  Today, we have excited write-ups in the Guardian and on the LRB blog about a ‘free university’. Back then, New College of the Humanities was undercooked and had to go public prematurely in order to raise additional, needed funding. At least, though, Grayling and Co had established a company.

“IF: this university is free” has not even managed to get that together – it has neither associated nor incorporated. That it’s asking the public first for £10 000 is a bit rich.

They are using Kickstarter – a website intended for start-up ventures. On their own website, IF claims to be a ‘social enterprise’ – a non-charitable form which commits to investing the ‘majority of profits’, but not all, to advance social missions. In contrast, charities cannot make profits and…

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