Monthly Archives: November 2010

Some Readings…

Stefan Collini’s review of Lord Browne’s Review of Higher Education
Funding and Student Finance in the London Review of Books.

An open letter from Gregory Petsko of Brandeis to the President of
SUNY at Albany, protesting against the decision to
close the French, Italian, Classics, Russian and Theater Arts departments.

An article by Michael Collins, organiser of the letter to The
Telegraph on 29 November 2010 calling for a public enquiry into higher education.

For a powerful defence of the university as a place of inquiry and critical
, by Professor John Anderson at the University of Sydney, published in 1935:

For a comparable campaign in Canada, see the 4Humanities site set up at the
University of Alberta. In Sweden, Projekt Athena (Contact: Johan Gärdebo, Uppsala,

Leading academics attack university funding reforms

A letter in the Daily Telegraph today by senior academics attacks the government’s attempt to raise tuition fees before publishing a full white paper and calls for a “Public Commission of Enquiry” into the place of universities in public life. The accompanying news story highlights the argument that the government has a “weak political mandate” for its proposed changes. See ‘below the fold’ for the text of the letter and signatories.

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Humanities and Social Sciences Matter

Humanities Matters is a campaign to promote and defend world-leading humanities and social science teaching and research in UK universities.

We believe in Higher Education teaching that is informed by the highest quality research, that engages with society, and is open to all on the basis of merit.

  • These goals will be undermined by the government’s current proposals for HE funding, especially the decision to completely remove the direct teaching grant for all of these subjects.
  • The government’s proposals will create unprecedented institutional instability and make it harder to invest and plan for the future or improve the student experience.
  • More time is needed to air and debate the radical implications of the government’s plans. Britain has a great deal to lose, economically, culturally and socially.

If you agree, please sign our petition.

The recent debate about university funding has emphasised knowledge over understanding and employability over education (especially in the Browne report). But however you see the role of higher education, the Humanities and the Social Sciences still matter.

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