"Around 4/5th of Middlesex University’s research in RAE2008 was rated as of international standing. An important aspect of our strategy to build on this success is to strengthen our research student base. Consequently, we are funding several fully funded research studentships for an October 2010 start. Applications from suitably qualified candidates are invited in the following areas."
My personal feeling, reinforced by someone more sensible than I, is that under the conditions of the rigged game this was a victory. The rigidity of the academic job market, which once was a trade off with job security, now works to undermine academics. The obvious point was that Middlesex regarded their staff as disposable and now they have 'disposed' themselves en masse. Of course I feel real concern for those left behind, more than most as I feel strongly the need for struggles to increase job security. I'm deeply critical and sceptical about those 'radical' demands to exit philosophy from the university - living outside the university is living in other forms of wage labour, and I see nothing wrong with demanding state support for education (pending abolition of the state / value form / etc...).
The fantasy of the private university or certain forms of knowledge common seems to me to rest on a further entrepreneurialisation of knowledge. Here is where a thinking of the state and capital is required, rather than recycling anti-social democracy tropes in the guise of exodus style radicalism. 'Abolish the university', well wait around it's already being done by neo-liberal capitalism (isn't there a story that Jacques-Alain and Judith Miller where moved out of one Paris university by the French state (to another, but in the provinces!) in their haut Maoist destroy the university phase).