The autumn of 2010, in the UK, was characterised by a series of protests against the proposed tripling of university tuition fees and the removal of the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA). These protests were set within a broader international background of contestation around universities and higher education reforms. This article focuses on the activities of a group, which emerged within this context, called the Really Open University (ROU), and its efforts to engender a reimagining of the university. Specifically, this article argues that the activities of the ROU were attempts to create new, radical imaginaries of the university and were linked to broader efforts to re-conceptualise knowledge production and pedagogy. The central point is that ultimately the ROU’s invitation to ‘reimagine the university’ was a provocation to abolish the university in its capitalist form, through a process of reimagining the university, exodus from the university machine and the creation of a university of the common.