The Project

Mike McInnes talks on Liver Brain Biology
Mike McInnes talks on Liver Brain Biology

“If, in each hour, a man could learn a single fragment of some branch of knowledge, a single rule of some mechanical art, a single pleasing story or proverb – the acquisition of which would require no effort, what a vast stock of learning he might lay by”

John Amos Comenius


The heart of Ragged University is about the free exchange of knowledge and skills in social spaces. It is about people who love what they do sharing what they have invested their time in. It is not about motivating people; it is about motivated people.


A key practical activity is the social custom where we enjoy knowledge and talking over ideas whilst breaking bread.  It is not an organisation but a culture of developing a practical philosophy from social traditions of learning which anyone can practice in their own lives. Here are some aspects about what the Ragged University project is…


  • It is about valuing knowledgeable people

  • It is not about certificates

  • It is about exploring what is possible

  • It is not about CVs

  • It is about creating something generative

  • It is not about making money


The project is non-commercial and it’s aim is to act in the tradition which built the free education system of the United Kingdom today through the Ragged Schools. The events which are organised are all free and open for everyone to attend, and anyone can do a talk. It started in 2010 by a group of friends and has been running ever since.


Anyone can create learning events using available infrastructure (pubs, cafes, museums, libraries, businesses) and common technology (the internet, projectors, screens, laptops). Ragged University argues for free education and valuing knowledge wherever it may lay.


The coordination of the project and website is an open copy book which evolves over time.  Ideas are explored, activities take place, people share and those who get involved collectively and individually build from what happens.


It is experimental, it is an exploration and play-filled changing space which is also research focused and socially oriented; it is non-institutional and a construct which generates social documents that give reflections of various commons constituted of forms of non-financial wealth. It is one expression of the evolving symbiosis of ideas which belong to everybody and which nobody can exclusively own.


What do you think education means ? You can read many different posts below about what has been explored over time since 2010 as discovery informs and evolves what happens in connection with and via the digital space which is this website:


St. Petersburg State University