Education, education, education...

"Emancipatory politics must always … make what was previously deemed to be impossible seem attainable" (Mark Fisher)

Students often think they are at the cutting edge of political change, but could that actually ring true in the context of the general election? Arguably, taking a look at higher education is a useful way of getting a purchase on Corbyn’s achievement. Many political and philosophical undercurrents swirl beneath the numbers that make up the extraordinary snap-election result. None may be as significant as the sense that those supporting Corbyn’s Labour did so in part to see public services run in service of the public good, not the profit motive. This challenges free market orthodoxies that have been masquerading as plain old common sense for decades. Private is efficient, choice equals freedom, competition drives excellence. Really? Voters are no longer convinced. What is normal, i.e. considered common sense. What ‘the voting public will accept’ - has changed. In fact, to paraphrase Mark Fisher, what was previously ‘presented as necessary and inevitable’ has been revealed to be “a mere contingency”.

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Thinkers wanted! Applications open for 'Thinking Without Borders' [Editor's note - applications now closed]

Applications are open [Editor's note - applications now closed] for the new IF project course, Thinking Without Borders: A Short History of the Present. The course will begin in late April 2017, thanks to the support of the Big Lottery Fund.

Thinking Without Borders is a free 10-week course in university-level humanities. It will explore contemporary concerns such as truth and lies, power and freedom, nations and rights, culture and identity as seen from the perspective of writers, historians, philosophers and artists.  

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Calling all free thinkers! Applications are now open for 'Thinking: a free introduction' [Editor's note - applications now closed]

Applications are open [Editor's note - applications now closed] for the new IF project course, Thinking: a free introduction. The course will begin in January 2016, thanks to the support of the Big Lottery Fund.

Thinking. Everyone does it, but what does it mean to think critically?

We are offering a 10-week interdisciplinary course in university-level arts and humanities that will introduce how writers, historians and philosophers think - and how the methods they use enable us to interpret the world and the complexities of human experience.

Find out more...

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A Lesson for Higher Education from the Spinal Cord Repair Breakthrough

The most memorable aspect of BBC Panorama’s heart-warming account of a significant breakthrough for people paralysed by spinal cord injuries was not the skill of medical staff, the brilliance of scientists or the bravery of Darek Fidyka, the Polish man who is undergoing the gruelling and risky treatment, it was the dedication and generosity of all those involved. And it provides lessons for the way we fund higher education.

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School's in for Summer: The IF Humanities Summer School 2014

The IF Humanities Summer School took place across June 2014, giving students a taster of a range of humanities subjects. Early evening Lectures and discussions introduced undergraduate-level Literature and Classics (why read them?), History (what do historians do? How do interpretations of the past become relevant in the present), Visual Arts and Film Studies (what makes some paintings and films better than others? How do you 'read' a music video critically?) and Political Philosophy (the relationship between freedom and social justice). 

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