The Brisbane Declaration

The Brisbane Declaration

The Brisbane Declaration was developed by university staff, students, as well as representatives from unions, community sector organisations and others who attended the 2015 Challenging the Privatised University conference. It is intended to spark a national conversation, and to enable the re-imagining of universities to ensure their role and purpose supports social justice and democracy.

The Brisbane Declaration was developed by university staff, students, as well as representatives from unions, community sector organisations and others who attended the 2015 Challenging the Privatised University conference. It is intended to spark a national conversation, and to enable the re-imagining of universities to ensure their role and purpose supports social justice and democracy.

Sign the declaration

Add your voice to the growing number of university staff and students questioning the increasing privatisation of universities.

Dear University Vice Chancellors,

THE BRISBANE DECLARATION

Given the role of multinational corporations in contributing to the looming global environmental, social and financial crises; and their increasing influence on all forms of education, including university education, there has never been a more important time to rethink the meaning of a good university in Australia.

Good universities are:
• Communities not for-profit corporations;
• Democratic public institutions for the social good;
• Fully funded by government;
• Independent of corporate influence;
• Dedicated to offering free, high quality education;
• Transparent and accountable;
• Transformational not merely transactional;
• Democratically accountable to society as a whole;
• Committed to an ethical and knowledge driven curriculum that fosters critical reflection and creativity.

Good universities:
• Embrace multiple ways of knowing;
• Nurture public intellectuals;
• Promote the free exchange of ideas in the quest for truth;
• Actively value collegiality and collaboration;
• Uphold and support the role of student unions;
• Uphold diversity in the production of knowledge;
• Foster and develop mutual respect;
• Participate in the development of a just, democratic and sustainable society which privileges ecologies over the economy;
• Empower students to become active citizens and not just job ready graduates;
• Explicitly incorporate an understanding of indigenous culture and history;
• Recognise and integrate bodies of knowledge from the global south;
• Recognise academic freedom as a core value;
• Produce open, available and accessible knowledge;
• Include all academic and non-academic staff, and students as active participants in decision-making processes and culture;
• Invite alternative, non-hierarchical and respectful forms of performance review.

This declaration is intended to spark a national conversation about the nature, role and purpose of university education in a socially just, democratic society. We invite reflection, debate and dialogue in pursuit of the good university.