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Arts and humanities profs object!

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Arts and humanities profs object!

15 senior people in arts and humanities in British universities have written to the Financial Times expressing their concern about the cuts to higher education.

Following the economic rationale logic, they argue that “repeated studies have demonstrated that arts and humanities teaching has an enormous positive impact on the UK economy, giving the lie to the apparent view of Lord Browne and the government that economic “worth” and “validity” exist in technical subjects alone”.
They also point out that what is missing from the Browne report (and from current government proposals) is “any acknowledgment at all of the extraordinarily successful performance of the UK’s higher education system during the last three decades”.  They argue for more funding, not less, as higher education in the UK “is a world-leading sector of our economy, as well as of our cultural life”. They condemn the cuts as “reckless” and suggest that “the cause of the students’ protest is not only just but historically justified”

Read the letter here (subscription required)

The signatories are:

Glen O’Hara, Reader in the History of Public Policy, Oxford Brookes University
Simon Szreter, Professor of History and Public Policy, University of Cambridge
Jane Humphries, Professor of Economic History, University of Oxford
Kathleen Burk, Professor of History, University College London
Frank Trentman, Professor of History, Birkbeck College
Steve Hindle, Professor of History, University of Warwick
Matthew Hilton, Professor of Social History, University of Birmingham
Roger Middleton, Professor of the History of Political Economy, University of Bristol
Jim Tomlinson, Professor of History, University of Dundee
Virginia Berridge, Professor of History, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Anne Digby, Research Professor in History, Oxford Brookes University
Martin Daunton,Professor of Economic History, University of Cambridge
Patricia Clavin,Research Director, Modern European History Centre, University of Oxford
Chris Clark,Professor of Modern European History, University of Cambridge
Richard Overy,Professor of History, University of Exeter

  1. Yes, the letter “follows the economic rationale logic”. So while looking good at a first glance, it already concedes the point of principle, but argues for a different empirical reading. (It even uses that awful hype-and-spin expression “world-leading”.)
    I don’t think Cardinal Newman would have signed it.

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