Between 25 February and 11 April 2015 the central executive building of the University of Amsterdam was transformed into a 'forum romanum' to discuss student and teachers protests and to rethink the university, education, research and academic culture in general. Top down busines models and new public mangement have reached the limits of their efficiency and sustainability. It is necessary to return to the knowledge, wisdom and experience of staff and students to focus again on contents and to create organizational models that are more democratic, more ethical and ultimately much more productive and efficient.
For a summary and introduction to the events in Amsterdam see Jonathan Gray's article in The Guardian; or a chronological overview in N+1. Follow the events on Rethink UvA (interfaculty staff website with English and Dutch articles in the press, position papers, blog entrees and more information), Twitter @rethinkUva or #Maagdenhuis and the Youtube channel. You can sign the petition to support.
See also my article 'Jams, Loops and Downward Spirals in the Academic System' in De Groene Amsterdammer in Dutch or in English for Open! Platform for Art, Culture and the Public Domain. See also and artcile by James Anderson in Truthout. And in German Markus Stauff's contribution to Zeitschrift fur Medienwissenshaft. An article about the situation in England here. About the situation on higher education in the USA Noam Chomsky's analysis is pointing out what is at stake.
The problems and conditions that are under discussion in the academic protest also stand for what is happening in other places in society, especially the public services (education, heath care, justice, public broadcasting, ...) that are crumbling under the weight of the systems of control and profitability. We need to rethink our life and return to "common" senses.