Humanities & Social Sciences Need Your Help

(If you don’t want to read my un-nuanced rant, please skip straight to the one from the Campaign for the Humanities and Social Sciences and consider signing their petition. I would much rather action was taken on this issue, than people spent time dealing with my ramblings).

The Humanities and Social Sciences are under threat at UK Universities. FACT.

Is this something we should care about? Especially in these ‘troubled times’ when budgets need to be cut? Damn right it is!

Yes I have a vested interest in my own specific subject area of Religious Studies, and I could go on for days about  how I think that it is the most important subject that anyone could study etc etc. But that is not the point. The point is that the UK Government has openly adopted a policy which seeks to protect the ‘worthwhile’ STEM subjects, whilst dramatically cutting funding from the Humanities and Social Sciences, which don’t appear to have immediate financial value to the economy.

Whilst I don’t have time to collect the links now, I can tell you that this tactic will end up costing the UK economy billions, and result in an intellectual and cultural drain on the country which may be irrevocable.  As far as my own subject area of Religious Studies goes, I recently attended a conference for aspiring academics, where the atmosphere was one of incredible doom and gloom. We were basically told 1) if you want to be an academic… don’t… there’s just no point in the UK any more 2) the Arts and Humanities Research Council may not even exist in the next couple of years, which will have dramatic effects on future research in a wide variety of fields 3) A large proportion of the UK’s small number of Religious Studies departments could end up having to close in the near future, as projected student losses of approximately 80 students per department start to take effect, as a result of the funding cuts.

I’m going to stop ranting now, because it is not my opinion that matters – it is yours. And to that end,  if you care at all about the future of Humanities and Social Sciences in UK Universities I urge you to read this (http://humanitiesmatter.wordpress.com/), and sign the petition. If you don’t, I urge you to read this and seriously consider your position.

Thanks

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About Chris

Scholar of religion/nonreligion... PhD Student (Lancaster University), blogger, singer, actor, thinker... Northern Irish living in Scotland. Co-founder of The Religious Studies Project. Director at the NSRN. Baritone masquerading as a tenor. Vegetarian for no particular reason.

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