Monday 16 April 2012

A final reflection on the QMary countermapping adventure

It's been a long time since the QMary Countermapping project came to an end, and much has changed in our lives and the world since. This post is to close the circle, and offer some resources to those of you who might stumble across it in the future.

Just as we predicted over a year and a half ago (see top left corner of the CounterMap) QMary has now officially joined the Russel Group, to the great delights of its Principal and to the dismay of the local and international students whose grades, income and profile won't cut the elite mustard.
Everywhere the process of neoliberalisation of university education is becoming ever more shameless and relentless. In the next academic year UK home students will be charged three times the current tuitions fees, while the UKBA monsters have all but multiplied, making this country and its education system ever more inaccessible except for the lucky few. On the bright side, new education sector strikes and marches are being called for next autumn, hopefully offering a space for organising and debating after this confused year of picking up the pieces of last year's student movement.

As for our countermapping efforts, about a year ago we were asked by Lateral to write a short reflection on the making of the map and the game, and it is with great pleasure that we are finally announcing its publication in the first issue of the journal:
Beside the text, Lateral has also created a navigable version of the map, which can finally be downloaded in high resolution, and, most importantly, an interactive version of the game!

We hope this will provide a useful online reference for all that are mapping and challenging the rules of the neoliberal university across the globe!

in struggle and maps,
Counter/Mapping Qmary


  1. I went to Queen Mary's much before its Westfield and other nonsense brand/name appendages (not that QM had any sense either!). Back in those days, 1987-88, we could still find housing to occupy/squat and the government were about to introduce loans, which I knew of and hated while in the US. There were loads of us at the protest, from all of the UK, but the struggle was lost and I almost got arrested by the pigs (threatened with a beating, too), after we were channelled like some herd through to Trafalgar Square, between crowd control barriers, and some of us decided to sit down in protest of the treatment. I knew then we had been thoroughly defeated, but could never have imagined it going this far, especially after the poll riots of 1990. What does it take to enable intergenerational transfer of knowledge and strategies about education (and any other) struggles? This map goes some way, in my view, to addressing that concern. Congratulations to the collective for their admirable work and I hope they will be able to do more such work and circulate it widely.

  2. I am a university student in Leeds attempting to do something similar to the counter map for my there anyone I can get in contact with to talk about it? Any information is useful and greatly appreciated. Thanks, Eleanor

  3. My cousin recommended this blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!

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