The ArgusFree university planned for Brighton and Hove (From The Argus)

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Free university planned for Brighton and Hove

They say the best things in life are free, and that ethos is being embraced by organisers behind the Free University Brighton.

Ali Ghanimi, Tim Huzar and Stu Alley are looking to bring together experts willing to pass on their skills to keen learners who have been priced out of other educational courses.

Although students would not gain a formal qualification, the university, whose motto is ‘education for love not money’, is looking to offer courses on a wide range of subjects.

These will include website building, carpentry, adult literacy and numeracy lessons, English as a second language courses as well as more informal discussion groups.

Organisers have already reached an agreement with Brighton and Hove libraries allowing them to use space for free and are now looking for more, including business space and workshops at night or cafes, which could benefit from extra visitors.

Other unusual classrooms could also include the beach and a 1950s Airstream trailer.

Founder Ms Ghanimi first started looking into the proposal in the summer and is looking to hold a launch event in the New Year.

She says she was inspired to act by the rise in tuition fees, anti-cut campaigners and by the Occupy protest movement.

Solution for unemployed

The 44-year-old said she hoped the university would be a solution for out-of-work teachers, people who can’t afford to go to university, out-of-work people with more time on their hands as well as responding to cuts in adult education courses.

An electronics engineer and masters student in organisational psychology who had previously worked in the charity and public sectors, Ms Ghanimi began thinking about the free university earlier this year after she found herself struggling to find work.

The university’s website will also alert people to free education opportunities already being put on in the city including lectures open to all at University of Brighton and Sussex.

A signing-up day held in Jubilee Library this week gathered 30 signatures of people wanting to be trained or do training.

She said: “What we teach will depend on what people want to learn.

“When we started we thought about charging a little bit of money but talking to people they couldn’t said even afford £10 a month so we’ve decided everything must be free. I’m hoping the idea will grow and grow.

For more information visit www.freeuniversitybrighton.org.

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Comments (10)

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7:53pm Thu 22 Nov 12

leobrighton says...

Just shows how desperate the Arsegas is for a story when silly ideas like this get press space. Such courses are already widely available and they are hardly University level education. Utter rubbish and a waste of printing ink. How are the Argus reporters getting on with their GCSE's?
Just shows how desperate the Arsegas is for a story when silly ideas like this get press space. Such courses are already widely available and they are hardly University level education. Utter rubbish and a waste of printing ink. How are the Argus reporters getting on with their GCSE's? leobrighton
  • Score: 0

8:35pm Thu 22 Nov 12

Martha Gunn says...

Looks like another convention for just the usual suspects and weirdos. But with the landslide of 30 signatures from interested parties we could all be proved wrong!
Does the statement 'What we teach will depend on what people want to learn' qualify for the vacuous comment of the year? Mind you will anyone offer me odds on it getting a Council grant from the loony Green Party?
Looks like another convention for just the usual suspects and weirdos. But with the landslide of 30 signatures from interested parties we could all be proved wrong! Does the statement 'What we teach will depend on what people want to learn' qualify for the vacuous comment of the year? Mind you will anyone offer me odds on it getting a Council grant from the loony Green Party? Martha Gunn
  • Score: 0

11:12pm Thu 22 Nov 12

Hove Actually says...

leobrighton wrote:
Just shows how desperate the Arsegas is for a story when silly ideas like this get press space. Such courses are already widely available and they are hardly University level education. Utter rubbish and a waste of printing ink. How are the Argus reporters getting on with their GCSE's?
GCSE's Your having a laugh
Key Stage 1 or 2 maybe...
[quote][p][bold]leobrighton[/bold] wrote: Just shows how desperate the Arsegas is for a story when silly ideas like this get press space. Such courses are already widely available and they are hardly University level education. Utter rubbish and a waste of printing ink. How are the Argus reporters getting on with their GCSE's?[/p][/quote]GCSE's Your having a laugh Key Stage 1 or 2 maybe... Hove Actually
  • Score: 0

11:46pm Thu 22 Nov 12

Morpheus says...

Qualified out of work people will no doubt be spending their time looking for paid employment.
Qualified out of work people will no doubt be spending their time looking for paid employment. Morpheus
  • Score: 0

12:07am Fri 23 Nov 12

Maxwell's Ghost says...

These courses are already free at the City College and other educational sites.
These courses are already free at the City College and other educational sites. Maxwell's Ghost
  • Score: 0

7:16am Fri 23 Nov 12

Goldenwight says...

This country is really suffering from a skills gap, brought on in part at least by recent changes to our education funding system.

Not everyone will qualify for free courses at City College, nor will all of the subjects being considered be available.

If nothing else, attendance at one of these courses will show willing and a desire to learn and for self improvement.

I'll be looking to offer my services as a tutor, giving my time for free to people who really have an interest in learning what I have to say- what more could anyone ask for from life? Apart from a solid gold toilet, Claudia Schiffer's phone number and an endless supply of 12 yr old Macallan, that is.
This country is really suffering from a skills gap, brought on in part at least by recent changes to our education funding system. Not everyone will qualify for free courses at City College, nor will all of the subjects being considered be available. If nothing else, attendance at one of these courses will show willing and a desire to learn and for self improvement. I'll be looking to offer my services as a tutor, giving my time for free to people who really have an interest in learning what I have to say- what more could anyone ask for from life? Apart from a solid gold toilet, Claudia Schiffer's phone number and an endless supply of 12 yr old Macallan, that is. Goldenwight
  • Score: 0

7:30am Fri 23 Nov 12

bluemonday says...

it's not a UNIVERSITY
it's not a UNIVERSITY bluemonday
  • Score: 0

9:21am Fri 23 Nov 12

HJarrs says...

Usual pattern of comments; Someone has a positive idea then its moan, moan, moan. For some the glass is always half empty.
Usual pattern of comments; Someone has a positive idea then its moan, moan, moan. For some the glass is always half empty. HJarrs
  • Score: 0

10:22am Fri 23 Nov 12

superlative says...

I don't think you're allowed to use the word university in your name if you haven't been officially granted university status, as defined in the Further and Higher Education Act 1992. So they might run into problems with that.
I don't think you're allowed to use the word university in your name if you haven't been officially granted university status, as defined in the Further and Higher Education Act 1992. So they might run into problems with that. superlative
  • Score: 0

12:17pm Fri 23 Nov 12

gaz scott says...

Generally, anything that involves individuals thinking or doing things for themselves without a profit motive is frowned upon on these pages.

Good for you Ms Ghanimi.
Generally, anything that involves individuals thinking or doing things for themselves without a profit motive is frowned upon on these pages. Good for you Ms Ghanimi. gaz scott
  • Score: 0

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