The Alternative University Project (AltU) grew out of the frustration felt by a group of McGill and Concordia University students about the growing inaccessibility of the Quebec higher education system. The AltU is a collection of classes taught by professors, students, community members, or through innovative communal formats on subjects which range from “Knitting” and “Programming” to “Introduction to Anarchism” and “New Materials Writing Workshop and Discussion.”
The financial and economic crisis, of which we have heard so much discussion since 2007-8, is only one aspect of a whole series of underlying political trends which have been apparent for much longer: a crisis of (in)equality and of increased precarity of the workforce, a human rights crisis, a demographic crisis, an ecological crisis, a crisis in civil liberties, and above all a crisis in democracy.
The reforms which have swept through public education during the last two decades have largely been initiated in state legislatures or the United States Congress. The greater part of all these reform efforts have focused on the professional side of public education.