Wangari Maathai


The focus of the Ragged project is learning. We meet, teach and learn in social spaces, in social ways. Taking inspiration from the Ragged Schools, the model also takes influence of many thinkers in education and histories from around the world.

In every culture, in every age there exists some tradition of free education either tacit or explicit in the actions of people. It is in those social traditions of education that the practice of Ragged University is formulated.  Using available infrastructure and common technology we share ideas amongst a community of peers.

This is about open, non-institutional learning, building and cooperating in activities and exchanges.  The subject is seen as authority and through doing, discovering, thinking and communicating each individual develops their own curriculum – a student producing their own learning arc (Student As Producer; Neary and Winn). In Ragged University we postulate the Producer as Student – that by what I produce you can discover what I have learned.

Creating events is about developing the organisational capacities and learning through teaching the intricacies which hold the fascination to learn and the delight to share.  People go about learning as their interests dictate and produce many things in their lives mutable in dialogue and all the things they have made, be it memories and experience or written artifact.

Being involved in organising Ragged University events is about being self motivated to set up the circumstances for people to share what they know with others, and then also taking time to comprehend what was shared. Ragged University is first and foremost an idea which revolves around the common instruments of knowledge which we all have access to.

It is a personal journey – a personal covenant with learning which many independently realise as some social activity.  Each person will do it inherently differently by their location and happenstance.  By writing about the concept of Ragged University I write to examine, celebrate and build upon useful knowledge of learning, and other people’s fascinating journeys too.


Ragged University in pedagogical terms is about independently trying to discover and manifest each function we can find in a university in forms of wealth which are resistant to appropriation.  It is about being the university you want to see in the world and discovering in the world your curriculum