Joint Statement

What is the Joint Statement?

The International Joint statement found here: is a basic outline of what we are for and against, and is supported by many groups from different places. It was written collectively over a period of several months by a number of student groups spread across the world, and over 100 groups and organisations have now endorsed it. Please consider getting your own organisations and groups to show their support!

The Text

“International Joint Statement”

Around the world over the past decade students, pupils, teachers, parents and employees have been protesting against the increasing commercialization and privatization of public education, and fighting for free and emancipatory education.

Many of us use the “International Student Movement” as a self-managed platform initiated to exchange information, to network and to co-ordinate protests at both the international and the global levels. Since the ISM platform was initiated in November 2008 the “International Day of Action against the Commercialization of Education” (Nov.5th 2008), “Reclaim your Education – Global Week of Action” (April 20-29th 2009), “Education is NOT for $A£€ – Global Week of Action” (Nov.5th + 9-18th 2009), “Global Wave of Action for Education” (Oct./Nov. 2010) and “Spring of Resistance” (March – May 2011) were coordinated.
We strive for structures based on direct participation and non-hierarchical organization through collective discussion and action. Anyone who identifies with the struggle against the privatization of public education, and for free and emancipatory education can join and participate on as well as shape the platform!

The following aims unite us worldwide:

What are we struggling against?

  • The effects of the current economic system on people and education systems:
    → tuition fees or any form of fees which exclude people from accessing and equally participating in education
    → student debt
    → public education aligned to serve the (labour) market;
    ► The so called Bologna-Process (as with its counterparts around the world) is aimed at implementing education systems that primarily train people in skills serving the labour market. It promotes the reduction of costs for training a person, shortens the length of time spent studying, and produces underqualified workforces.
    → turning education into a commodity as part of the commodification of all aspects of life
    → the significant and increasing influence of business interests on basic budgets for public education
    → the significant and increasing budget cuts on public education worldwide
    → the privatisation of public funds through the subsidisation of private educational institutions
    → the commodification and exploitation of labor within educational institutions
  • We stand against discrimination and exclusion within any educational institution based on:
    → socio-economic background, for instance by charging fees so that people with less money can’t participate equally
    → nationality
    → performance and academic record
    → political ideologies and activities
    → gender
    → sexual orientation
    → religion
    → ethnic background
    → skin colour
  • We stand against the prioritisation of research towards commercially valuable patents rather than open knowledge freely available to all
    → Public educational institutions are increasingly forced to compete for private sponsorships to do (basic) research; at the same time private funds tend to be invested into research promising to be profitable, leading to a decline in funding for areas of research which may be important but not deemed economically lucrative. Educational institutions and participants are evaluated on the basis of economic profitability and often compete to receive additional public funding based on this criteria.
  • We stand against the prioritisation of income-generating research grants ahead of education and basic research
  • Activities for the army within educational institutions:
    → no research specifically for military purposes
    → no recruiting and advertising activities for the army

What are we struggling for?

    → free and emancipatory education as a human right. Education should primarily work for the emancipation of the individual, which means: being enabled to critically reflect and understand the power structures and environment surrounding him-/herself. Education must not only enable the emancipation of the individual but society as a whole
    → education as a public good serving public interests
    → academic freedom and choice: freedom to pursue any educational discipline
    → free from monetary mechanisms of payment by participants and any kind of discrimination and exclusion and therefore freely accessible to all individuals
    → sufficient funding for all public educational institutions, whether they are deemed profitable or not
    → all educational entities/institutions should be democratically structured, meaning direct participation from below as a basis for decision making processes

Why on the local and global level?

The impacts of the current global economic system create struggles worldwide. While applying local pressure to influence our individual local/regional politics and legislation, we must always be aware of the global and structural nature of our problems and learn from each other’s tactics, experiences in organizing, and theoretical knowledge. Short-term changes may be achieved on the local level, but great change will only happen if we unite globally.

Education systems worldwide do what they are intended to do within the economic and state system(s): select for, train and create ignorance and submission. We unite for a different education system and a different life.

We stand united against any sort of repression by governments worldwide directed at people involved in the struggle for free and emancipatory education.

The following groups and individuals support the statement above, pledge to spread it, and to get actively involved in efforts to network and unite education activist groups worldwide in the future.

Why should I sign it?

A few positives of being involved with the ISM

  • Supporting the views expressed
  • Sharing ideas with a wider body of people, locally and globally
  • Being inspired and feeling solidarity with the world
  • Clear aims and direction
  • Spreading the story of our struggles in our country, and to other countries, not relying on mass media.

Where do I sign?

Wish to support this statement by having your (group) name listed on the ISM site? Just send an e-mail to: