Presentation of the Department
The two departments for higher education policy (HoPo) and for Teaching&Studying (LuSt) work closely together and therefore have a common description.
"The overall strategic control [of the university] must be placed in the hands of the university management, i.e. the deaneries and presidia. Nobody would think of letting the Minister of Economics or the employees choose the department heads at Mercedes."
Dieter Lenzen, FU-Präsident 2003-2010, Tagesspiegel 12.9.2005, S.25
Entrepreneurship of the university - this quote stands for this like no other. This neo-liberal structural change, which has been taking place in Berlin's higher education landscape for two decades now, and especially at Freie Universität, has many political consequences: While the autonomous university presidium is increasingly empowering itself, academic bodies such as departmental councils or the Academic Senate are largely disempowered and degenerate into the puppet theater of an autocratic regime that is willing to use all means to assert its interests. These are quite clearly the commercialization as well as the elitization of teaching and studies, the flexibilization of employment relationships and the suppression of all critical teaching and research. Politically unpleasant opponents are removed from the university with ice-cold calculation or are not even admitted, and political commitment such as student participation is largely suppressed.
The Higher Education Policy Department of the AStA FU opposes the dismantling of the last remnants of democracy and student participation and stands for self-determined studies free from economic constraints. Higher education must be a public good to which all people should have access without restriction and at no cost. We therefore reject stricter admission requirements, university fees of any kind and digitalised compulsory control.
The focus of the higher education policy work of our department is therefore disclosure, politicisation and scandalisation of injustice towards students. We support student initiatives that fight for the preservation of these very rights, among other things in the academic committees through our presence as well as through our own structures. In addition, we participate in the state-wide higher education policy network for the representation of student interests (free Federal Association of the General Student Committees of Berlin), for example against the Senate. The Higher Education Policy Department also sees itself as a contact point for students who have and are looking for ideas and alternatives for an emancipatory university.
"Of course, they [the students] can say that they enjoyed life because they have friends and children and had fun. But to have lived a truly full and satisfying life, they should have identified problems and helped to solve them. If at the age of 80 they can't look back and say, 'I've achieved something,' then they haven't succeeded in life."
Noam Chomsky, Professor für Linguistik am MIT. ZEIT Campus Nr. 4/2011.
More information on higher education policy
The website www.astafu.de/hopo collects various information and sources on the topics of higher education, university, education and education policy and studying, with a focus on the "Freie" Universität Berlin.
This should contribute to an understanding of higher education and education policy and provide a space for various criticisms of current conditions.
AStA FU Berlin
If you have concrete problems with the university or your studies, you can contact the free
studies counseling service.