A grassroots strategy to build public opinion
Academics for Public Universities
Ball & Doggett
Academics for Public Universities is a group of academics from Australian universities who are applying their interdisciplinary expertise to contribute meaningful solutions to the crisis currently facing higher education in Australia.
Working closely together with the APU team, we designed a communique and set of stickers aimed to increase public awareness of corporate governance of higher education, the permanent reduction and casualisation of teaching staff, declining teaching standards and financial waste combined with a lack of transparency and accountability.
The touchpoints collectively argue that long-term neglect and poor management, starkly revealed by the impact of COVID-19, have caused this crisis, and failure to address it would lead to the collapse of the university system.
To accompany the communique we designed a set of stickers with bold phrases and illustrations inspired by Grapus – a French graphic design movement founded after the 1968 Paris student protests. These were produced as a way of creating conversation and building momentum.
Combined, these touchpoints encouraged people to re-examine their assumptions about the nature and function of public universities, and to compare Australia’s current situation with international practice.
Combined with the bold colours and type, the illustrations – deliberately messy in nature and stressful in tone – convey a certain urgency and communicate the importance of the issue.