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« Liberal Youth | Main | Another global warming sceptic »
Monday
Mar242008

Women's studies

Via Croziervision, this story at Laban Tall's:

Women's Studies as a distinct undergraduate discipline will disappear this October, when the last institution offering first degrees, London Metropolitan University (formerly Hoxton Working Men's Club) stops taking undergrads. According to this Today report (RealAudio, 15 mins in) it's down to lack of demand.

There are very few things that the government have got right in the last ten years. Independence for the Bank of England was one. The other (and I can only think of the two) was the imposition of fees for university education. Suddenly, doing the student bit is no longer a matter of "an amusingly tipsy way of spending three years" or "a lifestyle choice", but a matter of finding a way to do something that is useful to society - which is to say, something that people are willing to pay for. It's small wonder that people are now avoiding mickey mouse degrees in favour of something which might actually give them a living at the end of it.

The counter-argument to my hypothesis is that a university education is not vocational - it's about interacting with clever people, broadening ones mind, having the time to think, blah, blah, rhubarb. To which I would respond that we've got the internet now.  You want mind broadening? Find a decent chatroom.

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Reader Comments (1)

<i>It's small wonder that people are now avoiding mickey mouse degrees in favour of something which might actually give them a living at the end of it.</i>

Are you sure? I see universities closing pure science departments. And where they don't close they are often replaced by "relevant" agitprop alternatives like environmental science instead. I can see the employment prospects of the latter (at least in the short term) but that doesn't apply to all the new wave subjects (eg Peace Studies).

I have only anecdotal evidence, but if you are right then we are only seeing a marginal change.

I hope you are right, {and I agree with your substantive point that fees are right}.
Mar 25, 2008 at 10:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterTDK

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