Tuesday, 16 November 2010

In defence of humanities

The core of the Tory Scum-Lib Dem attack on education is a denial that it's a public good - especially the humanities.

I'm very well aware that signing petitions doesn't do anything (a million people marched against the Iraq war), but it's a gesture of opposition. So please do sign this one:

We are a group of academics, students and business people who are campaigning for recognition of the humanities and social sciences as an invaluable public good that should not be abandoned to market forces.

If you think that university degrees should enhance employability, then the Humanities and Social Sciences matter because they develop crucial skills, including:
* Critical thinking and analysis
* Capacity to understand and negotiate cultural difference
* Creativity and imagination 
For the universities to offer contemporary relevance tomorrow, or in ten years’ time, they need to be in a position to decide what they teach today on intellectual grounds, not on the basis of whether or not a subject happens to be “popular”.

The UK government is currently preparing a White Paper on higher education. We urge them to reject the impoverished vision of higher education outlined in the Browne report, which surrenders everything to market forces. This is not only an impoverished vision of the role of universities in society, but also an impoverished vision of the future of Britain as a democracy, a society, a culture – and an economy.
We urge them instead to pursue a bold vision, to recognise the humanities and social sciences as a public good, and to invest in their future rather than leaving them to the vagaries of the market. 

1 comment:

litlove said...

Oh yes, I'd put my name to all that.