Opening session from the Multiversity International Conference on Decolonising Our Universities held in Penang, Malaysia, 27-29 June 2011 under the auspices of Universiti Sains Malaysia and Citizens International.
The conference brought together academics and activists from Asia, Africa, the Mideast and elsewhere to address the problem of Eurocentrism in universities of the Global South.
Speakers in the opening session include:
S.M. Mohamed Idris, Chairperson of Citizens International, reminding participants that colonialism is not just a political and economic system; it is a malady that has afflicted peoples of the Global South on the level of culture.
Professor Tan Sri Dato Dzulkifli Abdul Razak, Vice-Chancellor of Universiti Sains Malaysia, suggesting that something new, different and concrete needs to be developed to replace the Eurocentric systems of education.
Dr Asghar Zarei, Adviser to the Iranian Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Technology, noting that the Global South is a on roadmap drawn up by the former colonial powers that coopts scientific knowledge for their interests.
The Honourable Dato Saifuddin Abdullah, Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Malaysia, pointing out that the global university ranking system is a West-directed way of preserving the hegemony of the former colonial powers.
Further details of the conference, participants and papers are online here.