Free University Brighton was created in the Summer of 2012. We are a cooperative, community-led organisation that provides and promotes free educational events across the City of Brighton & Hove. Our aim is to grow an alternative education system that benefits us all, whoever we are, whatever our financial means.
We offer free courses, practical workshops, introductory taster sessions, lectures, talks, film screenings discussion and debate in a wide variety of subjects. We also offer validated, degree-level courses in philosophy and social sciences.
Our aim is to turn public spaces into classrooms, enabling communities to come together to think, develop, learn, enquire, question the world around us and to explore how it could be different and better.
“The government does not owe the people education for the simple reason that one does not owe the people what it can take for itself. And education is like liberty: it is not given, it is taken.” – Jaques Rancière
Why have a free university?
The massive increase in university tuition fees and government cuts has placed further and higher education beyond the reach of many of us. Now, more than ever, we need free education for all regardless of ability to pay.
Free University Brighton is both a protest against the growing marketisation of education and a practical response. It is inspired by the 1968 Anti-university, the Tent City University of the Occupy movement and other alternative education initiatives across the world. It aims to create more democratic educational experiences where teachers and students learn from each other.
How does it work?
What’s on offer is decided by local people and placed into the heart the community by making use of free public spaces. In this way we are reclaiming education as a public good and making it accessible to everyone. If you have something you can teach, or something you wish to learn, let us know.
What’s on offer?
Courses, practical workshops, introductory taster sessions, lectures, talks, discussion and debate… It could be any subject, at any level. Anything that enables us to think, develop, learn, enquire, question the world around us and, above all, explore how it could be different and better.
Where will it happen?
Anywhere in Brighton & Hove! We have used libraries, community centres, church halls, pubs, cafes, a night club, a bin depot, derelict offices, the beach, even a tent! Infact, just about any building or space that people are willing to offer up for the love of learning.
How can I get involved?
We need people who can teach, people who want to learn, people who can help spread the word, buildings and spaces suitable for learning, and ideas for courses and educational events – what would you like to see on offer?
“Here, no one teaches another, nor is anyone self-taught. People teach each other, mediated by the world.” – Paulo Freire