The University of Students: A place for joint self-education

Main Article Content

Olga Shugurova
Eugene Matusov
Ana Marjanovic-Shane


In this article, we explain, explore, and problematize the formation, organization, leadership, and daily educational life of the first (to our knowledge) international democratic university of students (UniS) in the 21st century. UniS is run by the students, for the students, and with the students for their diverse purposes, desires, interests, and needs. A student is anyone who freely chooses to study something for whatever reason. Everyone can become a student at any time without any high school credits, fees, bureaucracy, tests, or any other form of human suffering. But what exactly is UniS? Why students? What if…? How can one visualize UniS, which is “so vague, so bizarre, so unnecessary to me!”  What are its philosophical principles? Who are we? What does the University of Students look like? In the spirit of curiosity, wonder, leisure, fun, freedom, and love for learning, we invite the reader to attend and connect with two working edu-clubs of UniS: a movie club “Schooling Around the World and Time” and an “Educationalist Club.” In addition, we discuss some of the main issues, limitations, and challenges, including the civilization of the necessities, colonization of the human spirit by the economy, a lack of genuine leisure, and toxification of the human by foisted education. The open-ended, poetic conclusion lets the readers form their own interpretations, ideas, questions, and answers about UniS. What is the future of UniS? And only time will tell, 10, 100 years later or 100 light-years from now.

Article Details

How to Cite
Shugurova, O., Matusov, E., & Marjanovic-Shane, A. (2022). The University of Students: A place for joint self-education. Dialogic Pedagogy: An International Online Journal, 10, E1-E42.
Author Biographies

Olga Shugurova, University of Manitoba, CA

Olga Shugurova graduated with a Ph.D. from the Schulich School of Education at Nipissing University in 2017. Her arts-based research focus was on a cultural and historical context of learning without schooling. Since 2015, Olga has been teaching as a sessional and distance course instructor in the Faculty of Arts and Education at the University of Manitoba. During this time, she has developed a keen interest in dialogic pedagogy in teacher education and interdisciplinary learning environments. Her current research focus is on innovative, creative dialogic pedagogy of freedom and education as art.

Eugene Matusov, University of Delaware, USA

Eugene Matusov is a Professor of Education at the University of Delaware. He studied developmental

psychology with Soviet researchers working in the Vygotskian paradigm and worked as a schoolteacher

before immigrating to the United States. He uses sociocultural and Bakhtinian dialogic approaches to

education. His recent books are: Matusov, E. (2017). Nikolai N. Konstantinov’s authorial math pedagogy

for people with wings, Matusov, E. & Brobst, J. (2013). Radical experiment in dialogic pedagogy in higher

education and its Centauric failure: Chronotopic analysis, and Matusov, E. (2009). Journey into dialogic


Ana Marjanovic-Shane, Dialogic Pedagogy Journal

Ana Marjanovic-Shane is an Independent Scholar interested in ethical ontological dialogism and meaning making in education, democratic education, students’ academic freedoms and students’ critical and creative authorship in self-education. Her articles in English and Serbian were published in various journals (e.g. Mind, Culture, Activity Journal, Learning, Culture and Social Interaction, Dialogic Pedagogy Journal) and as book chapters in books on play and education. Two recent publications include: Marjanovic-Shane, A., Meacham, S., Choi, H. J., Lopez, S., & Matusov, E. (2019). Idea-dying in critical ontological pedagogical dialogue. Learning, Culture and Social Interaction, 20, 68-79, and Matusov, E., A. Marjanovic-Shane & M. Gradovski, (2019). Dialogic pedagogy and polyphonic research art: Bakhtin by and for educators, Palgrave Macmillan. Ana lives and works in the USA.


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