The Ragged University

What is the Ragged University ?

‘The Ragged University is the concept of free education and self learning – everybody is a Ragged University sums it nicely.  The Ragged project is something which is delivering free, fun and informal talks in pubs, cafes and libraries around the country.  The idea is simple – anyone can do it.  In fact that is how the Ragged Schools started, as did many other free education like the Chautauqua.

With a few ales and chewing ears off, we discussed the theory of taking the origins of the Ragged Schools and update them using available infrastructure (i.e. pubs, cafes, restaurants, businesses) and available technology (internet, libraries, books, open access learning).  Whatever your passion, if you love a subject, the idea is to create a space to share insight into that. There is no money involved, there is no registration nor accreditation. Just plain old pleasure in learning and a confidence with knowledge comes power, however it is only power when it is shared…’


Ideas of, about, Education Reference materials, of, about education…

Paulo Freire. Pedagogy of the Oppressed – available free online

Ivan Illich. Deschooling Society – available free online

David Gribble (some free texts)

More information of,  about, critical teaching, learning process…

Norma Bermudez: 28th March 2012

The Birmingham Free University are holding an event on 28 March from 6:30 to 8:00pm at the Ropewalk pub in Hockley.

We are really happy to have Norma Bermudez – a feminist and pacifist popular educator who works with displaced Afro-Colombian and shanty town women community members using popular education as a tool of empowerment and liberation- as a speaker at this event.

We hope that you can join us to hear from Norma about the ways that she and others are using popular education (built on the same principles as critical pedagogy) to support community development.

This event is open to the public and we hope that you pass the information on widely so that we can get a good crowd to hear what Norma and her colleagues are doing.

For those of us setting up the Birmingham Free University, this might give us some ideas as to how to realise our ideas more fully.

Norma Bermudez, Professor and Women’s Rights Activist, Colombia: