“Free education disrupts elitist values within the current state, creating a radical independent space to formulate new questions that critically assess this system,” Katherine Stanley tells me. “But with tuition fees and the increasing privatization of the institution, the government is creating a learning environment where students see studying as a means to future earnings only, [and] in this way the government is reaffirming the current system.” Stanley was a co-organizer of Tent City University, a free and open educational space initiated at Occupy London in the fall of 2011. Now she is a visiting lecturer at a London university. “Corporate funding, together with the institution’s growing managerial tier erodes the very idea of free thinking," she continues, and "generationally, over time, this is a disaster for an education that complements a criticality within society. Unless education is made free, innovation and creativity in society as a whole are threatened."
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