In This Issue

“Hello, Professor Penfold? It’s the fiscal crisis calling.”

By the time this column is published, I will have no telephone in my office. It turns out that phones are really expensive, and with so many alternatives—from iPads to Blackberries and email to social media —there was no sense holding on to anachronistic nineteenth century technologies. So don’t expect any heroic resistance from me. […]

The November issue of Academic Matters is now live!

The great medieval universities – Paris, Bologna, Oxford – were places far removed from the tribulations of daily life. Under the protection of the Church, scholars were free to pursue knowledge for its own sake without interference from the city fathers. They lived in near-literal ivory towers, soaring above the concerns of kings and peasants […]

Signification du carré vert : Raison pour laquelle de nombreux étudiants sont opposés à la grève

Le 30 mars 2011, le ministre des Finances du Québec, Raymond Bachand, annonçait que les étudiants devraient payer davantage pour leurs études universitaires, et que le financement des universités avait besoin d’une contribution plus élevée de la part des étudiants. À la suite de cette annonce, les associations étudiantes du Québec ont décidé de parler […]

“Ensemble, bloquons la hausse”: The Rationale Behind the Slogan

In the spring of 2012 hundreds of thousands of Quebec students and their allies took to the streets to protest the government’s proposed tuition fee increase. Martin Robert makes the case against the tuition increase and proposes an alternative model in which tuition would be free in Quebec.

Behind the Green Square: Why Many Students Opposed the Strike

Check out Martin Robert’s support of the student strike. This article has been translated from the original French. Read the French version here. On March 30, 2011, Quebec Minister of Finance, Raymond Bachand, announced that students would have to pay more for their university education, and that the funding of universities would require a greater […]

The High Cost of Low Tuition in Quebec

Read Daniel Weinstock’s take on this issue. At this writing, the student unions’ boycott of classes in Quebec has ended in success. The boycott precipitated an early election that brought down Jean Charest’s PLQ government. His defense of higher tuition and his stand against the student unions—excessive and illiberal though it became— almost certainly helped […]

Not Another Brick in the Wall: Capitalism and Student Protests in Chile

A few days ago, I visited a high school in a poor urban area in Western Santiago and met with the junior and senior classes to discuss the student movement of 2011 in Chile. “What were the mobilized youth demanding?” I asked the students in the San Alberto Hurtado School. “Did they succeed?” The questions […]

The Quiet Campus: The Anatomy of Dissent at Canadian Universities

The remarkable—a word that can be read in many different ways—2012 student protests in Quebec have stirred memories of the activist campuses of yesteryear. For faculty members introduced to the academy in the era of student activism, anti-Vietnam War protests, and general social unrest, the recent quietude of the Canadian university system has been disturbing. […]