December 10th 2014, the Nordic Committee of Senior Officials for Education and Research decided that the independent academic organisation Nordic Summer University should lose its funding. In effect, this means that the NSU will have to close down in 2016. Founded in 1950, the NSU has been a platform for interdisciplinary scholarly and cultural exchange between Nordic and, since a few years back, Baltic universities. Based on voluntary work, the NSU has managed to create a unique environment for research and education, where professors, professionals and students work together in an egalitarian fashion. For the equivalent of a mere 140 000 € per year, the NSU gathers eight study circles that organize separate symposia in the winter and then meet in the summer for a joint session with a total number of approximately 120 participants. The NSU has also been a forum where renowned international scholars meet a Nordic audience. Throughout the history of the NSU, participants have been given the opportunity to engage in discussion with key intellectuals such as liberation theologist Enrique Dussel, cultural theorist Paul Gilroy, feminist philosopher Sandra Harding, literary theorist Katherine Hayles, media theorist Friedrich Kittler, liberal philosopher Martha Nussbaum, and psychoanalytic philosopher Slavoj Zizek, among others. Moreover, since the NSU has received funding directly from the Nordic Council of Ministers, the organization is largely unaffected by the structural changes that other educational institutions have gone through over the past decades. All in all, this means that the NSU is a unique institution for learning in the Nordic and Baltic context. With this petition, we argue against the decision by the Nordic Committee of Senior Officials for Education and Research. Save the Nordic Summer University!
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