Finishing schools for gilded youth?

by Chris Bertram on October 13, 2010

Cross-posted from the New Statesman Culture blog (original)

It is hard to escape the worry that the arts, humanities and, almost certainly, many of the social sciences face a bleaker future in British higher education if Lord Browne’s report – “Securing a sustainable future for higher education in England” – is implemented. Browne isn’t explicit about this, but on page 25 of the report we find a chilling sentence: “In our proposals, there will be scope for Government to withdraw public investment through HEFCE from many courses to contribute to wider reductions in public spending; there will remain a vital role for public investment to support priority courses and the wider benefits they create.” The priority courses are listed as medicine, science and engineering. The arts, humanities and social sciences are on their own, and will have to support themselves from student fee income, from research grants and from so-called “QR funding” – allocated by government on the basis of past research performance.
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