Ah this week has been quite stressful. I think I've done more work this week than the rest of the semester combined. I am now getting a tutor for my French poetry class because, turns out, I don't understand it at all. Hopefully, this will make it possible for me to pass because so far, it's not looking good. Ok, talking about my stress is not helping it at the moment so I will explain the second part of my title.
This week was eventful for the town of Louvain-la-Neuve, Wednesday in particular. On Wednesday, ministers from all over Europe came to LLN for a meeting about the Bologna process.
The Bologna process (according to Wikipedia, so bear with me) was a major reform created with the claimed goal of providing responses to issues such as the public responsibility for higher education and research, higher education governance, the social dimension of higher education and research, and the values and roles of higher education and research in modern, globalized, and increasingly complex societies with the most demanding qualification needs. It's named after the city it was created in, Bologna, Italy.
However, many people oppose the Bologna process. So when the ministers were here on Wednesday, there were protests all over campus. The building where the meeting was held had fences and police (decked out in helmets and bulletproof vests, and with riot shields) surrounding it. There were also several police on horses riding around campus. While eating lunch, a group of students dressed as clowns (as a form of protest) were wandering around and when the police on horses blocked them, they started bowing to them. At this point in the day, I had no idea what was going on. This was when I started to wonder what was going on. I didn't question it before because this campus is crazy and there are always weird things going on so I thought nothing of the protests (it's not the first one I've seen here) but the clowns and the police made me question it.
Because the work mentioned earlier, I had no time to film any of this and I am sorely disappointed. I was only able to see everything in passing because I spent the majority of the day in the library (I never thought I'd miss a library but the library here is awful and I truly miss Cooper). However, I was able to get a few pictures of signs and graffiti that may give you an idea of what happened:
The first photo is the side of one of the school buildings. The second photo was taken in Grand Place. The sign is hung on the building next to the one where the meeting took place. To translate roughly: If you don't take charge of your university, your university will take charge of you.
There was also shredded paper all over campus but I'm not really sure what that means. Anyway, the students here take their education system very seriously. I am very curious to see what will come of the meeting.
Spring 2011 Projects Well Underway...
7 years ago