Struggle for a new reality
The final chapter, Struggle for a new reality, broadens the discussion and speculates on an alternative higher education system and the nature of academic work in this. The chapter begins with a theoretical discussion, drawing from Antonio Gramsci, to frame the argument for a National Education Service (NES) with the concept of feasibility. It is necessary for academics and others to view the possibility being open for a different kind of education to come into existence. The chapter goes on to describe the proposal for the NES, which we are dedicated to advancing. The NES principles and practices are then outlined, which ought to underpin a future nationalised and non-neoliberal higher education sector. The chapter follows with a reporting on attempts at creating an alternative using the case study of the Social Science Centre (SSC), and also the Free University of Liverpool (FUL). Both of these ultimately succumbed to neoliberal and financial pressures, and the newest creation, the Co-operative University due to open soon, will be charging a significant and expensive tuition fee. The argument is that it is necessary to have a nationalised and non-neoliberal higher education sector as part of the NES, which would incorporate into the mainstream a free education based on co-operative principles.