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The Bolivarian University of Venezuela: A radical alternative in the global field of higher education?

Mariya Ivancheva

This article discusses paradoxes in the emergent global field of higher education as reflected in an alternative model of the university – the Bolivarian University of Venezuela (UBV) and the related higher education policy, Misión Sucre. With its credo in the applied social sciences, its commitment to popular pedagogy and its dependence on extensive fieldwork with communities, UBV offers an alternative model of science and research at the service of society. Drawing on my ongoing research on this university (since 2008), I present the difficulties which the homogenising standards of a global field of higher education pose to a rapidly developing mass public university in a semiperipheral country. I focus on the difficulty of developing evaluation procedures for UBV as this exposes contradictions which are both unique to this new university model and common for a world system of higher education.

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Resources for hope: Ideas for alternatives from heterodox higher education institutions

Catherine N. Butcher

Abstract

This report describes my field visits to Berea and Deep Springs Colleges in the U.S.A. and explores their forms of ownership/control, governance, financing and organisational structure. Berea and Deep Springs are small, liberal arts colleges, distinctive in American higher education, in which students actively participate in a spirit of democracy. This report highlights the relationship between these heterodox organisational forms and student outcomes. It examines the practical significance of these two colleges for education policy and how certain features could be resources for hope used in constructing heterodox higher education institutions in other parts of the world. This report complements that of on Mondragón University – a cooperative in the Basque country of Spain – by adding to the body of knowledge on alternative models of higher education institutions.

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‘Insane with courage’: Free university experiments and the struggle for higher education in historical perspective

Sarah Amsler

announced that ‘the free university movement is growing’ as ‘across the U.K., a new generation of cooperative and non-fee-charging institutions are springing up with the aim of creating an alternative model of higher education’ ( Bonnett 2013 ). Could they