Brighton’s free university to hold open evening

Posted On 06 Jul 2018 at 7:48 pm

Brighton’s free university is to hold an open evening next week where potential students can find out how to enrol for a “freegree”.

Free University Brighton (FUB) offers validated degree-level courses in social science and philosophy.

The courses are completely free and the lack of tuition fees has earned them “freegrees” nickname.

After running these courses successfully for three years, FUB is preparing to enrol more students.

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FUB founder Ali Ghanimi said: “Anyone can study these courses. You don’t need A levels – just an open mind and a willingness to learn.

“We’ve designed the courses so that people who work or care for others can participate and students can pick and choose from a wide variety of subjects.

“Current offers include criminology, sociology, political economy, psychology, philosophy, feminism, gender and sexuality, politics and development studies.

“We aim to provide education that’s accessible, fun, builds confidence and empowers people to improve their lives”.

Ghanimi set up Free University Brighton in 2012 after the coalition government trebled tuition fees and introduced above-inflation interest rates on student loans.

The tuition fee rise sparked student protests and occupations around the country but also a new wave of free community-led education initiatives.

The courses are free thanks to a group of university lecturers who teach voluntarily. Many do so because they believe in FUB’s ethos that education should be accessible to all and for the benefit of society.

Universities used to be sites of critical inquiry but are now, they believe, market-driven businesses where courses are determined by what brings in the most money.

Feedback has been positive. One student said: “It has been my life-long dream to study at university level but finances prevented that.

“FUB has given me this opportunity. It has broadened my thinking and opened up my mind to other views and possibilities.”

Another said: “It is challenging on so many levels and an absolutely wonderful experience.”

To find out more, visit the FUB website www.freeuniversitybrighton.org.

The open evening runs from 7pm to 9pm on Wednesday 11 July at the Learning Centre in the Cityclean Depot in Upper Hollingdean Road, Brighton.

  1. A L Reply

    With the information available, something clearly doesn’t add up here.

    The degrees claim to be ‘validated’ but who by? If they truly are validated and therefore worth the effort someone puts in, they are legally required to be validated by a university or other higher education institution that has been awarded degree awarding powers. There is no mention in this article on FUB’s website to say who this mysterious university is.

    Secondly, ‘university’ is a legally protected term. Any institution wishing to use the term can only do so if granted by the Privy Council. And far from being a university, FUB is not even a registered higher education provider with the OfS.

    This means the quality of the courses offered by FUB is not checked, they are held to no standards or regulation and the ‘degree’ you get out the end of it has no value or meaning.

    Offering ‘free’ education is a good thing and I don’t want to diminish that. But this article and FUB in general appears to be totally misleading (unless more evidence and transparency comes to light than is currently available). If someone wants to go ahead and study one of these courses, then great. You may learn something. You just won’t have a degree at the end of it.

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