Powerful economic forces are dramatically reshaping all aspects of our world into an authoritarian corporate outlook that directly undermines democratic organization and governance, of the people, by the people, for the people. Nowhere is this more visible than in the education sector.
Higher education has entered a crisis period on a global scale just when all models of economic growth and indicators of social wellbeing identify it as crucial for the future of humanity.
GCAS believes that faculty and students should control and operate the means of producing and maintaining our school. The guiding principles of organizing include: equality, shared student/faculty governance, a sustainable & debt-free non-profit economic model, and academic freedom.
1. Accessibility. GCAS has as a key part of its mission the global democratization of knowledge and education. GCAS strives to offer courses for free.
2. Partnership. GCAS is committed to an inter-operational model of higher education that allows students to receive the highest quality education from many of the world's most respected intellectuals and leading activists.
3. Collaboration. GCAS is committed to the global collaboration of students and faculty from around the world.
4. Social Justice. GCAS is committed to social and environmental justice.
5. The Commons. GCAS is committed to an organization of the Commons.
GCAS hopes to countermand and disrupt the global commodification of higher learning. We hope to counter the increasingly popular view that education ought merely to involve equipping students with marketable skills for the sole purpose of becoming part of a global capitalist economy. After all, in a global capitalism in crisis there is little space for technical jobs, so getting in debt for managerial education doesn't make much sense in the first place.
Education should be seen as a means for emancipation and a common good that contributes for the good of society, not an individualized commodity connected to debt. The crisis of higher education will not go away, nor will it vanish with any one innovative solution, no matter how unique or transgressive. Yet we know that we faculty, who are increasingly becoming indentured to a system we no longer recognize as either financially sustainable or humanizing in the broadest sense of the term, let alone as a benefit to the students we find ourselves teaching, have to mobilize.
We mobilize not for our own self-preservation, but for the preservation of the very promise of education in a world whose future depends upon it. The democratization of education as a public good is our goal. To that end we commit ourselves to the struggle we found together as the Global Center for Advanced Studies.