You can find your MP’s contact details at http://findyourmp.parliament.uk/ or in the MP directory.
Please urge MPs to sign the petition and to take every opportunity to make the case for the importance of the humanities and social sciences in national life.
If you know that they are humanities or social science graduates, ask how that education has affected their lives.MPs are required to respond to letters from their constituents. The more letters they receive, the greater the impact will be.
Dear XXXX MP,
I am one of your constituents.
The Minister of State for Universities and Science has argued that “a dynamic and well-balanced economy needs to draw on the dynamism and research capacity of university departments in the arts and humanities as well as those in STEM subjects”. I agree. But I also believe that the government’s proposals for university funding will:
1. Damage this vital and world-class part of our economy;
2. Damage the fabric of our civil and political culture, and;
3. Prevent world-class research and teaching – not waste.
The proposals being discussed will entirely remove direct public funding for teaching for the first time since before the First World War. No other country in the G20 has a higher education system entirely without direct public subsidy for teaching in these subjects. The policy of funding teaching entirely through student fees rather than through a mixture of fees and direct teaching grants will make universities entirely responsive to a crude market mechanism. It is also likely to concentrate resources in a few institutions and undermine the invaluable work done by many universities in opening up the humanities and social sciences to their local communities. These are regressive and counter-productive proposals that threaten the position of UK universities as world-leaders in humanities and social science teaching and research. I do not propose that universities should be entirely immune from public spending cuts, nor from market forces in the form of student choice, but believe that the government’s proposals swing the pendulum too far in one direction and, crucially, abandon the basic principle that these subjects should be funded by the state as a public good.
There is clear evidence that investing in humanities and social sciences at universities brings significant economic and social benefits to our country. It is equally clear that our ability to interact successfully with other cultures matters more, not less, in a globalised world.
I would therefore like you to:
– Sign the ‘Humanities and Social Sciences Matter’ petition (https://humanitiesmatter.wordpress.com/);
– Argue the case for the humanities and social sciences in the run-up to the forthcoming White Paper on higher education.
It is in the whole country’s interests that this White Paper support public investment in the humanities and social sciences, not abandon its funding to the market.
I urge you to support these initiatives and look forward to hearing from you.