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There will be some free @thirduniversity workshops happening on 5th – 6th November…

18 Oct

As part of Leicester’s community media week, the third university will be running a series of workshops during ‘open media’ day at the Phoenix Square. We will be tweeting more information about this shortly – and when we’ve got more details of other workshops on other. We’d love to see you there- again, as always, the cost of the third university is exactly nothing – so even you can afford to attend the 3rd best university in Leicester. If they prove popular, we’ll run them again.

Simple Website Building using WordPress: 1 hour

We’ll show you how you can set up a website using wordpress and turn it into a space to write, to share information or to host your campaign. We’ll go through the basis of using themes, hosting video and audio and writing your first blog post. You do not need to have much technical skills, but you do need to bring your own or share a laptop (this keeps the costs down (free!))

Social Media for Campaigns: 1 hour

This session will take a look at the recent online activist campaigns, the reasons why they went viral and explore the use of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and ipadio are a tool for inspiring action and change. Get hands-on experience and advice on how to find, build and maintain a social media community around your cause. Bring your own laptop or mobile phone for additional opportunities to create campaigns, organise supporters and to amplify your message.

Keeping safe when making media: 1 hour

If you are making citizen media on the front line, you need to keep yourself safe. There is a chance that you’ll be more visible to the police or the rioters and with a camera/mobile to your face, there is more chance of being injured. This will be an open discussion to take about the best practice and the legal rights that you need to know if you wish to make media and document dissent.

Call for workshops:

The Third University is looking for people to host short (1hr or less) workshops or discussions on the 5th or 6th of November during Leicester’s 3rd community media week (1st-7th of November) They can be about anything, really, because we just want to learn from you and to be able to share our skills with each other. We have space – we just have to transform it. If you think you are up for a bit of skillsharing (or have a suggestion about what you might want to learn) tweet us @thirduniversity, leave a comment or drop us a line:


exciting croquet news: we *heart* wet maths

7 Jun

Today the Third University was developing its fine motor skills and applying them to wet physics.

third university reserves croquet massive






Just like we don’t like the New College of the Prof-anities, we don’t like wet physics.

third university reserves whack-a-day








We have discovered that unlike the New College of the Prof-anities, we can take original learning and stuff (our stuff being croquet) to unlikely places. Hope you’re watching @DMUGovernors…

third university reserves prepare to toss

Third University stuff on the 6th June – come one, come all.

23 May

10.ooam-1.00pm –The Third University presents:

3 people talking for 3 minutes on the stuff that they like and care about 3 times. For 3 hours. With chat and coffee and cake in between. In the nice space in the Phoenix with a projector and chairs that looks into the garden bit. It is warm we will open the double doors and sit outside. You don’t even need to prepare. It is good to speak some times. It’s even better to listen.

6.00-9.00pm The Third University presents:

People who have been glued to their desk during the day or have been enjoying a rather busy Monday, can come along and do some nice stuff in Natterjacks. Good sandwiches and beer and a screen to display images about things you might like. Who knows? It’s nice to worry about these things.

Lunchtime Lessons in Liberating Knowledge

13 Apr

The third university is committed to providing continued support to the people and to the visitors of the city of Leicester. It is also committed to encouraging those who have a skill or a passion or a desire to stand up and make it heard, to share it and to remind people to care. Sometimes to do this, you need to call upon the resources and the skills which is amongst us and amongst the community. We have the support of some lovely places and we have collection of individuals who are interested and keen to teach and keen to learn within its space.

We are around at all times for everyone. We can call up the support of the third university when we need it. Anyone can call up the support. It is free to use. For other reasons, we can also access other spaces which provide raw information for us to enjoy. We can do this together even when we are being told not to, that it is not allowed or it comes with a barrier or that access is not feasible. We would like to share the ways in which you can summon resources of knowledge in order to help facilitate learning. And we’d like to do that on your lunch break.

Meet at Coffee Republic, Granby St this Friday 12-1pm to help the Third University build a library. Or something.

The Third University has been learning about content and form

11 Apr

The Third University met at lovely Natterjacks Bar on Braunstone Gate in Leicester. The subject at issue was alternative teacher training. There was no prescription for the ills of normalised, institutionalised teacher training. But as one of the lovely participants highlighted “I just want to listen to people who care about stuff. I might learn things.” The things that were highlighted were a wonder and amplified so many connections that are hinted at in formalised teaching but that are never delivered within the commodified realm of monitored and precarious education.

The things were various.

  • Evolutionary technology and the creation of good enough algorithms for contextual problems. The Third University wonders how we might develop this model to look at narratives around solutions to our environmental crises, like climate change, decarbonisation and peak oil.
  • The place of hidden politics and cultures in East Germany after reunification. The Third University wonders how the lessons from the lost popular cultures of the GDR refract our views of lost cultures in the here-and-now, in the face of capital and the market.
  • Mixing cocktails and foraging for/drying apples. The Third University wonders how this might develop into a shared mechanism for exchanging goods, and for laughing.
  • Mental health and the arts. The Third University wonders how we can learn from those whom society marginalises and demonises, in order to recast our relationships.
  • The art of understanding reptiles, serpents and fish. The Third University wonders how this might enable us to understand our relationship to nature.
  • The relationship between international relations and the media in representations of the ostracised and the alienated and the marginalised. The Third University wonders how this might lead to new forms of action in the world, and to more smiling.

So there was new content. But there was also a discussion of forms. It was noted that teachers constrained learning, because they were constrained by a performative logic of quality and outcomes. So how might learning and teaching in public, based on shared interests and curiosity, help? How might analysing Shakespeare be achieved through performance in public? How might it develop confidence? How might algorithms be discussed through movement and performance in public spaces? How might it encourage hugging? How might popular public bars be used to discuss the politics of representation in marginalised communities? How might it help us share a drink and a smile? How might informal field-trips challenge the geography of content and subjects? How might radical spaces like libraries be re-radicalised for reading in public rather than private? How might we liberate our souls from the cloying commercialisation of the social factory?

The Third University is in love with the possibility of new content. Of listening to and learning from people who care about stuff. The Third University is excited about the public and shared forms this might take, in opposition to the precarity of learning in the academy. The Third University is excited. There will be more stuff.

A letter to Leicester.

4 Apr

Dear Leicester,

Whilst the government unpick the last 60 years in favour of some free market or other, the third university would like to support you and honour its commitment to a providing the city of Leicester (and those who would like to come and visit us – it’s nice) some free education.

The third university is going to do this by empowering you (yes you!) to become a teacher, an educator within its space. The third university would like to support/help/encourage you to feel confident enough to be able to pass on a skill that you possess to a group of others – opening up the opportunity to not only learn from others, but allow others to learn from you.

At the first two universities, you can do this by accrediting yourself with a qualification in this area. From the third university, you will be able to see that you do not need to be accredited, you just need to be there.

On April 11th will mark the first alternative teacher training session of the third university – come to NatterJack Bars (map) after 5pm and prepare to get prepared.

The learning outcomes are here.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Love you,

Third University

alternative teacher training

31 Mar

We are all teachers. Gramsci, concerned with conservative schooling for radical education, and engagement with the general intellect, had a view of intellectual life dissolved into the fabric of society. This is what the Third University is concerned with in the present moment. How do we empower each other by association to teach each other newness, new things, new comprehensions of the world? How do we empower each other to build alternatives. Or test alternatives?

The Third University has a wonderful offer from Natterjacks Bar on Narborough Road to use their space to do stuff. We want to do stuff dissolved into the community. In this moment that thing is an alternative to teacher training. Rather than accredited, monitored, assured, validated teaching as an adjunct of economic growth, we believe that everyone is able to teach something to someone, somewhere. So we will be running a session at Natterjacks. We hope. On alternative teacher training. Against a prescribed curriculum. Against a validated performance. Against performativity, precarity, economic progress and growth.

In classic Fight Club style, if you attend Third University’s alternative teacher training for the first time, then you must teach.

We want a learning outcome. Our learning outcome will be that participants will leave confident in their ability to teach something to someone somewhere. Participants will define what is useful for whom and where. We will assess this thing in classic Fight Club style. Third University expects that participants will have taught something to someone  somewhere at some point.

More details will follow. Good Night and Good Luck.

#1 – The first rule of Alternative Teacher Training is, you do not talk about Alternative Teacher Training.

#2 – The second rule of Alternative Teacher Training is, you DO NOT talk about Alternative Teacher Training.

#3 – If some learner says stop, goes limp, taps out, the teach-in is over.

#4 – At least two participants to a teach-in.

#5 – One teach-in at a time.

#6 – No shirts, no shoes. If you like.

#7 – Teach-ins will go on as long as they have to.

#8 – If this is your first night at Alternative Teacher Training, you have to teach.