The threat to arts and humanitites
The increasing emphasis being placed on the financial value of a degree threatens the future of arts and humanities research, according to the vice-chancellor of Cambridge university.
The “purer disciplines” are in danger of losing out to more vocational courses which directly translate into salary benefits, Sir Leszek Borysiewicz warned.
In an interview with the Guardian, the vice-chancellor said: “I have an anxiety in the longer term for the health of the disciplines. This doesn’t come at undergraduate level, but is what follows on from a postgraduate level. If you monetise the value of a degree, will you undertake an MPhil in mediaeval French poetry?
“You might undertake a law course which extends [your knowledge of] libel or whatever – because actually there’s direct value in that postgraduate education which will translate into your career.
“But will some of the purer disciplines that do so much to enrich – will they still be as attractive to students?”
Borysiewicz said he was concerned that the country risked losing “a cadre of potential researchers” in the arts.
The vice-chancellor, who is making a speech on the arts at the university’s Festival of Ideas on Thursday, also called for closer collaboration between the arts and sciences.
Read the rest of the Guardian article