A.S.A.P may stand for Academy of Students Against Privatization or Artists in Solidarity And Protest or Articulate See Align Postpone or Ask Schools About Privatization or Artist Showing the Academic Poverty or Act as Soon As Possible

A.S.A.P is a group of students at Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design questioning educational reforms in Sweden and EU.

In June 2010 the Swedish government decided to introduce tuition fees for ‘international’ students, i.e. students from outside of EU/EEA countries. This ‘educational turn’ affects all universities in Sweden, both financially and quality wise. For example will the Master programme at Konstfack cost 265 000 Swedish Crowns. Overall in Sweden has the number of application dropped with 73% (according to VHS.se).

According to the governments statement: [T]he change is intended to ensure that Swedish higher education institutions compete internationally on the basis of quality, not on the basis of free tuition. A.S.A.P questions the government way to increase the ‘quality’ in education, as it means it will become more difficult and economically impossible for many international students to enter the education system in Sweden. The new circumstances risk establishing an economic border and consequently may bring into question the fundamentals of a democratic society. As students in the education system, we believe that mixing individuals with various backgrounds, culture and different social contexts, increases the quality and dialogue within the institution.

The reform leads to a new economical situation for Swedish universities. The decrease of applications may make it financially difficult for universities to continue certain courses. It will also increase the administrative work for institutions, which are forced to establish grant systems on the side of the everyday running, a structural shift meaning that the private sector will have a bigger impact on the curriculum, hence a slow privatization of the school system. Finally the educational turn risks to jeopardize the university space as a place for thinking freely without social demands.

Please do not hesitate to contact us at asap[at]1200m.org

A.S.A.P looks forward to your contribution to the ongoing debate of the educational turn.