Bologna: A Deafening Silence

Clearly there are many struggles in English Language Teaching, most notably over trade union recognition, pay and conditions, class sizes etc… In the political realm, however, as opposed to the narrower trade union struggles, The Bologna Process, the reform of Higher Education in Europe and beyond, is not a struggle but is, in fact, the struggle. Bologna represents the most significant attack on  hard-earned working class rights to Higher Education ever seen. This onslaught takes its most direct form in its insistence on English-medium Education (that degrees be taught in English, that students of all countries be proficient in English, that, effectively, all research be written in English). And while this onslaught continues and students and workers fight to resist, the response from “Critical Theorists” (career Marxists and obfuscators who say ELT is imperialism)  is one great deafening silence. Comrades Julian Dredge, Marnie Highbrow and Alistair Poppycock show just how enmeshed they are with the elite university system by guarding their silence while others occupy buildings and battle with the state. Their falseness is exposed to all. One man stands proud amongst these puppets of the establishment, however, a man they often choose to chastise for his reductionism, but a man prepared to condemn this onslaught. Comrade Robert Phillipson, despite our many theoretical differences, we salute you and here in these pages we join you and the oppressed in that struggle. For unlike the class collaborators listed above, we know that that their students in Ireland and the UK will be subject to the next wave of attacks if others in Europe fail.


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