You’ve heard the story before, especially over the past decade: a European university announces sweeping reforms because of the legendary Bologna Process and EU requirements. This discussion often comes with the introductions of new fee’s for students, tighter controls on how long a student can study, and the move into a bachelor-masters structure. While all these changes come into effect, students as well as faculty are told that it has to be this way, with limited if any, consultation.
Recently it was the University of Fine Arts in Vienna that tried to make this move. But unlike many Universities where students might have disagreed, protested, and eventually gave up the fight – students in Austria have taken matters into their own hands; They have occupied their school. Highy organized, their occupation is now more than 24 days old and has spread beyond the borders of Autria into Germany and other neighboring countries.
My friend and uni student Marty joins me on this podcast from Vienna, to explain how this all started, how the occupation works, what the demands are, and what we can expect in the coming days and weeks.
Check out the website where you can find links to every aspect of the student protests and occupations.