‘Universities left to fly blind’

Six hundred and eighty-one Oxford and Cambridge academics have published a letter in the Independent expressing ‘dismay and alarm that universities are being forced to take major decisions, with unknown consequences, at a breakneck speed.’ The reforms, they write, will have ‘random effects in the HE sector, depriving some courses of income streams, and decimating the funding for teaching in some institutions, without any coherent and publicly announced policy in regard to which of these institutions and courses the Government believes should be left to fail.’ The letter reiterates previous calls for a Public Commission of Inquiry into the future of Higher Education in the UK.

The Arts and Humanities: Endangered Species?

The current reforms to education suggest that it is no longer self-evident that universities should be funded on the basis of being significant cultural institutions, existing for the public good. An event sponsored by the Cambridge Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH) on Friday, 25 February, seeks to articulate why and how the arts and humanities have been historically understood to matter, and how the symbiotic structure of teaching, research and practice enable universities to have an extraordinary cultural reach. Continue reading

While you were looking elsewhere…The Haldane Principle and the Government’s Research Agenda for the Arts and Humanities

By Peter Mandler

While much time and attention has been devoted recently to scrutinizing the government’s proposals on fees and teaching funding, important changes have already been implemented to the way in which our research funding is spent – and although some science blogs and spokespeople have raised the alarm, humanities scholars have almost totally overlooked this issue.

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LSE Event: Debating the CSR

To cut or not to cut? Debating the comprehensive spending review

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Cambrige Academics’ Silent Protest

Approximately two hundred and fifty Cambridge academics gathered outside Senate House yesterday to protest against the Government cuts in higher education spending, and the rise in tuition fees.
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LSE Public Lecture

The Human Economy: an ongoing international project

LSE Departments of Anthropology and Geography and Environment public lecture

Date: Thursday 27 January 2011
Time: 6.30-8pm
Venue: Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House
Speaker: Professor Keith Hart
Chair: Professor Stuart Corbridge

Eminent anthropologist Keith Hart will be talking about his book, The Human Economy, which gives readers a new economic perspective, covering topics ranging from globalisation to corporate social responsibility.

Keith Hart is emeritus professor at Goldsmith’s College and honorary professor at the University of Kwazulu Natal.

This event is free and open to all with no ticket required. Entry is on a first
come, first served basis. For any queries email events@lse.ac.uk
<mailto:events@lse.ac.uk> | or call 020 7955 6043.

Media queries: please contact the Press Office if you would like to reserve a press
seat or have a media query about this event, email pressoffice@lse.ac.uk
<mailto:pressoffice@lse.ac.uk> |

Scientists support Humanities

At an event at the LSE on “Valuing the Humanities”, Lord Rees, Master of Trinity College Cambridge and President of the Royal Society, spoke of the importance of a liberal education. A report of the event can be found here.

Dr Richard Smith, former editor of the British Medical Journal, has also written on the BMJ blog of the importance of the humanities to a medical training, to understanding health, dying and care, as well as other central preoccupations of the scientific community such as climate change.

Save universities from the bean counters

More evidence of concern in the United States about the dramatic cuts to the Higher Education budget in the UK: in Nature, Gregory Petsko of Brandeis has called on fellow scientists to defend their colleagues in arts and humanities departments and singled out the cuts in George Osbourne’s budget as a dramatic symptom of the crisis in universities around the world. Continue reading

Student protests: the real story

The London Review of Books has published several eye-witness accounts of police violence written by academics and students from Cambridge. The incidents recorded took place during the protests against tuition fee rises and cuts in the Higher Education budget.  Continue reading

Collini: the misleading metaphor of ‘the market’

In an article in the Evening Standard yesterday, Stefan Collini focuses on the crux of the problem with the government’s proposals — that ‘education cannot function as a true market because the “consumers” are not in a position to know in advance what they are supposed to want.’ Continue reading