Universities are institutions in which scientific knowledge is produced for the benefit of mankind and nature. Scientific knowledge can only be built in the climate of freedom and by tracing the truth. For this reason, the political powers that created themselves through social inequality and injustice have always been in conflict with the academics. Yet, the sovereigns need reversed realities in order to legitimize their sultanate. The longevity of their lives depends on the destruction of the liberty. Today, universities in our country are the target of the attacks of political power. Academicians who line up with the science, freedom and peace for the society are being discarded from their schools. Students defending freedom are being forced to be silent by the encirclement of “police-private security-disciplinary punishments”. Under these circumstances, it is impossible to talk about the scientific production, freedom, democratic operation and the job security of employees in the universities. These problems, which have been the subject of debate and struggle in all times, have been summit today. It’s time to ask the question again; “What kind of university do we want?”
Our free science and democratic university declaration is the answer of the question ‘What kind of university do we want?”, which was needed to be asked again after the recent attacks of the political power to reset the academy. At the same time, our declaration is a horizon of struggle to carry us from today to tomorrow, saying “academy does not obey, today has tomorrows”.
Higher Education Not A Privilege, A RIGHT!
The right to receive education and information is recognized by law, however in real it is not the case. Today, when everything is opened to the market, education has turned out to be a right, a privilege that can be used according to financial possibilities, a commodity that can be bought and sold.
The education system has become indexed to the competition in every aspect, instead of producing science and providing people with multi-directional developments. This system, which turns millions of students into race horses, has shifted public education into institutions such as private study centers and private schools, leaving public education without any function. The university gate is closed for those who do not have the economic facilities to benefit from these institutions. This system, which clarifies social-class discriminations, enlarges and deepens injustice day by day.
In this system, it is also dependent on “chance” or economic possibilities for students to get in a desired department at university. The economically powerful minority is able to obtain the privilege of studying in the department they want at private universities.
Moreover, private universities that appropriate for all income levels are a complete deception. . These buildings which call themselves “universities”, and exploit hopes of the poor expecting to secure their future, are real commercials. There, the offered education is up to the amount of money paid. The universities in single-buildings on streets are also deceptions. . These institutions, which besides not having enough equipment for scientific production even do not have enough academicians, indicate that university education is not becoming widespread, but rather is becoming unqualified.
- No one can be deprived of the right to get education and the right to scientific-artistic-philosophical production for any reason!
- University education should be a right that all people can benefit on an equal basis, and should not become a privilige of a handful of people!
- University education must be free at all levels!
- University entrance exams should be abolished!
- ! The selection of a depaertment at university should be based on the tendencies / talents to be emerged from the primary education process! Everyone should have the right to enter university, choose department or change department in accordance with their interests and abilities!
Science Stretches in Freedom Climate!
The prerequisite of scientific production is the free thougt. Creativity develops in the environment of freedom. When there is no freedom, science cannot be discussed. The Academy can not be ruled by orders and enactments.
- All academicians’ and students’ academical work should be free!
- The State should provide the necessary environment for these works to be carried out without any pressure, obstacle, restriction!
- ! It should be free for scholars and students to share their thoughts and scientific products with the public and these freedoms should be guaranteed!
- To the people working at universities, within the academy, free production facilities from areas outside of the training subjects, such as clubs and workshops etc., should be provided!
- The tools of the people working at universities to express their thoughts such as papers, posters, social media, etc. any publication work should be free!
- The police should be removed from the university and the private security mechanism must be deployed!
- Wirewraps, iron bars, cameras, turnstiles on university doors must be removed!
- All disciplinary regulations must be abolished, rules governing university life should be determined by university itself in line with common and free life principles!
- The Higher Education Council (YÖK), which emerged as a product of the fascist coup d’etat on September 12, 1980, and encroaches all rights acquired after a long struggle besides transforming universities into a barracks and imposes legal violence with disciplinary regulations should be abolished!
University for Human, Society and Nature!
. Although, capitalism strives to confine everything to profits, science should be conducted for the sake of public, not for the interests of the capital and the nation state. Universities should share with society the production of scientific information without any kind of domination.
Scientific education should be defended against the education that is from literature to physics, from sociology to mathematics, the knowledge given in every field is only memorized, lacking creativity, unquestioning and sexist.
- Against the universities that are forced to produce “salable” after the capital monopolized the scientific production; science should be done for the public, not for the market! Universities should transfer budget from public sources for scientific studies!
- Universities should be excluded from the operation and commodification process and used for the sake of public!
- A new educational process should be built to improve students’ ability to research, criticize, imaginative thinking and to synthesize new knowledge by experiencing the acquired knowledge in life against the educational system operated by the “memorize and don’t question” logic!
- Policies against sexual, physical, psychological harassment, violence and mobbing towards women and individuals with different sexual orientation and preferences should be developed, also the guidelines issued to prevent sexual harassment and attacks at universities should be taken seriously!
- Ecological balance and animal rights should be concerned during the construction of university campuses!
Scientific, Participatory, Non-Exam Education!
Signboards with “university” hanging on their doors do not mean that these buildings are universities. “Equitable, recognizing and valuing the differences, libertarian, scientific, free, without examination, mother-tongue based, participatory education” should be the basic qualities that a university must carry. On our struggle horizon, there are universities with an educational system on the basis of these principles.
- An environment of equality and freedom must be provided to create common subjects of the process of knowledge production and transfer. . Workings instead of teacher-student hierarchies must be carried out in the collective production environments, in interaction with life. The examinations should be abolished and the results of the collective work carried out must also be evaluated collectively!
- . Students have to work as cheap labor force in libraries, cafeterias, canteen etc. to meet their vital needs. The economic rights to abolish this situation should be granted to the students without compensation for the duration of the study!
- . Disadvantages such as the inadequacy of the dormitory capacities and the distance from the faculties cause serious housing problems and the students are condemned to the congregation and sectarian dwellings. The number of dormitories must be increased immediately, upgraded and the entry / exit time restrictions should be abolished!
- ! Fundamental rights such as housing and nutrition must be provided through public resources and opportunities to participate in social and cultural activities must be created!
- Free daycare centers should be provided for the staff of university staff and students
- Summer school, secondary education, distance learning, certificate programs are applications that accelerate and reproduce the process of incorporation of universities. These practices, which are the source of inequality, must be abolished!
- Exchange programs for international students and faculty members should be done with a focus on universal science thought!
- Universities should take urgent agendas for policies to pass on the campus and disseminate these principles such as ethical principles and sanctions against sexism and homophobia
Administration of Universities to University Councils!
Universities are governed not by the “chosen” but by the “appointed” and the administrators alleging themselves, the university components are deprived of the right to speak and decide in the university administration. Students are completely excluded from the process of being a subject in government in industrialized universities cooperating with capital.
- ! “University councils” should be formed by adopting a management model in which academicians, students, laborers are the subjects!
- University councils must guarantee the planning, management and supervision system in accordance with all the demands. It should be based on the development and strengthening of the subjects that produce the information!
- The security of universities must be ensured under the authority and supervision of university councils!
- In the formation of assemblies, ethnic identity, gender and sexual orientation should not be discriminated!
End to the Academic Injustice! Job Security is the Assurance of Academic Freedom!
The capitalism, which cuts off the tree that can not sell its shade, and saves all the values with the wind of the capital, certainly did not let the academy out of this wind. The academy is directed at income-generating works, thus creating a hierarchical structure among the various disciplines, and long-term, shared, artistic and philosophical studies are devalued. In universities, which are the centers of information production as much as they are higher education institutions, academicians serve the public with independent researches and knowledge they produce, not just by lecturing to students. Many of the faculty members, especially in the private (foundation) universities in Turkey loads of teaching and administrative responsibilities which are heavy enough not to let them take the time to scientific studies. On the other hand, HEC (higher education council) paradoxically worsens the scientific publication criteria required for the professional upgrading of academicians, followed by an approach that emphasizes the quantitative nature of quality.
. In the service areas such as cleaning, security, cafeterias and dormitories, with the subcontracting, the right of organizing the workers is taken from their hands and cheap labor force is wanted to be employed.
- In the process of knowledge production, subjects must have the right to choose and reject their research!
- ! There should be a balance between the lecture attendance of the instructors and the research / writing time they need, and quality research and publications should be encouraged for the benefit of society!
- The qualities of the academy should be remembered with its contribution to the society not by the necessity of compliance with the competition, or by making profit / loss account.
- The driving force of development and renewal must be through creativity and production, not from the concepts of rivalry, competition and performance appraisal!
- The process of production and transfer of knowledge must be determined by the scientific production, not by the fear of wages or being dismissed.
- All employees must have unconditional job security and freedom of organization! Temporary forms of employment should be abolished in universities, the principle of equal pay for equal work must be passed down!