Against the unsustainable G8 university

On the 17th 18th and 19th of May an important event, the G8 University Summit, will be held in Italy, in the city of Turin

sponsored by the CRUI (Conference of Chancellors of Italian Universities), to whom will participate the chancellors and presidents of the universities of the member states of the G8, together with those of many other countries around the world.The object of the meeting is to propose itself as a direct referring point for the G8 of the heads of State and Government who will meet in the island of Sardinia (Italy) next summer.


The meeting has given itself the objective to advise the great leaders of the world about the problems the humanity and the planet are facing, basing on the supposed “neutral and objective” character of the knowledge produced by universities. We are all well aware of the fact that the G8 has no credibility being clearly responsible for the current global crisis.

Further more it’s evident that it’s a paradox that is this same institution the one who wants to solve a crisis that has been responsible for creating it by letting the few decide on the fate of billions of people over the course of the years, influencing the international relationships and the economic and social politics. It’s therefore unacceptable that the chancellors, considering themselves representative of the whole world of the university, are now going to speak with the member states of the G8 legitimizing, in such a manner, the political-economic system proposed by them. Obviously this has not surprised us considering the central role that the university and the production of knowledge have in the restructuring process of the global system that today is keeping on reproducing itself with great difficulty through the crisis. During the summit will be proposed the winning picture of a transformed and globalized university. In reality we now have a university in crisis, contradictory, with a worsening of the transmitted knowledge and exploiting the people that are producing it condemning them to a life and working condition of uncertainty. If will be each university the one who still continues to administer the low financial resources by acting with a logic typical of financial companies, education (no longer a public service and a common good) will continue to legitimate itself in the form of an efficiency to buy at increasingly heavy costs, generating an unsustainable system for its inners students and workers. We do not want to discuss the concept of “sustainable development” (now a container term, often used in rhetoric), but rather start from the real processes and understand the operative choices this word refers to. If for sustainable development they mean the way in which the supranational organizations extend the property and the profit on natural resources (allowing, for example, the commercialization of renewable energy), and if the politics based on this concept allow the constitution of new mechanisms of control and exploitation of territories, we won’t stand for it! As students from Turin and other Italian cities, we are organizing meetings and assemblies to discuss and deal with all the international experiences that have been committing themselves to the issue of the relationship between global crisis and the crisis of the university. We will also discuss with people acting, like we are doing, against the crisis and with all the movements that have risen to defend their territories from “unsustainable” development models (such as the movement against the High Speed Train (Tav) in Piedmont, against the construction of a military USA post in Vicenza, against the privatization of water resources, against nuclear, etc.).. During the G8 of the universities we will organize a national (and international!) demonstration on the 19th of May in Turin, in clear contrast to the Summit and we invite everybody to participate. The assemblies will begin on the 17th of May. During this day we will discuss with the movements risen in defence of the territory, the common goods, etc.

On the 18th will take place the debate organised by Edu Factory and dedicated to the university and crisis of the university, its transformations, global crisis and students movements.
During the same night we will focus on the international issue with speakers from Greece, France and all the other countries that want to participate.