Sandra Grey is a Senior Lecturer in Social Policy at Victoria University of Wellington. Her research focuses on social movements and citizen engagement in democracy. Sandra is currently working on a project examining on four decades of contentious political activity by the women’s, union, and anti-poverty movements of New Zealand. Her recent publications in this field include a chapter on the New Zealand women’s movement in Rethinking Women in Politics; an edited collection Women’s Movements: Flourishing or in Abeyance? co-edited with Marian Sawer; and, Voices of the community: the community and voluntary sector’s role in New Zealand democracy, a report co-authored with Charles Sedgwick. As well as her keen research interest in social movement activism and civil society politics, since 2010 Sandra has been the spokesperson for the Campaign for MMP. And during 2011 and 2012 Sandra took leave from Victoria University to work full-time as the National President of the Tertiary Education Union.
- "Throughout the public documents of Universities New Zealand appear statements drawn from economic discourses which present universities as existing for commercialisation, business development and economic ‘growth’."
- "The acts of commission mentioned so far are insider tactics involving those already engaged in governing, managing and staffing higher education."
- "Drawing on the work of Eric Olin Wright, I would suggest that the focus should be on interstitial and symbiotic transformations, and on developing new forms in niches and margins; such reforms will ‘simultaneously make life better within the existing economic system and expand potential for future advances in democratic power’."
- "In order to aid this, we must build empowering processes, structures and institutions to which people can align themselves."
- "If we believe that universities should not simply be destined to become an instrument of the economy, activism will be a necessary end point."
- "Nonviolent movements plan for ways to weaken and topple those pillars, eventually causing the power structure to collapse all together."
- "We must find and make spaces within our institutions where we can begin to dismantle the neo-liberal project which threatens the very nature of universities—spaces where we can turn anger or disillusionment into hope and action."
- "It is possible that many staff have found it easier either to exit, or to show loyalty, than to voice their concerns."
- "I agree with Stewart that: The ascendancy of entrepreneurial university managements who emphasise a market-based rationality in which education becomes a consumer good, and who have a correspondingly anxious eye on consumer satisfaction and public relations as well as governments concerned with fiscal constraints, corporate ties and short term priorities, are paving the way for dangerous widespread institutional change."
- "How do we move from academic analysis of the problems facing higher education to a concerted and ongoing political campaign which pushes back against those driving an NHE agenda dominated by economic imperatives, privatisation, marketisation and managerialism?"