- Deputy Vice Chancellor, University of Greenwich, London.
- United Kingdom
The School of Humanities management announced on March 23rd that recruitment to the Philosophy BA as been stopped, with immediate effect, and that all places on this degree already offered to students for the coming year are to be rescinded. They have further recommended to the University Academic Planning Committee that the Philosophy BA be closed down. No objective argument was presented for this halt in recruitment and closure. A request was made for the relevant documentation to the Head of School and vice chancellor, but no response has been received. On March 29th, the HOS and DVC confirmed the planned closure in a school meeting, citing financial reasons. The evidence cited was insufficient, including both partial out-of-date statistics.
What is needed:
A full and rigorous review of the information pertaining to this decision in a process that involves the subject specialists and takes into account all relevant data.
Why this is needed:
The Philosophy degree at the University of Greenwich has been running successfully for over 20 years. The staff are committed to providing the highest level of teaching and the programme received excellent reports at its last validation. Recruitment to the programme tripled last year, and applications for the coming year are higher still.
The University is well known for it’s championing of widening participation, and its high intake of BME students. Many of these students are unable to move away from home in order to study, and Greenwich is one of the very few institutions left in the South East offering Philosophy to students whose achievement is likely to be less than straight A’s.
Philosophy has an essential place in any University worthy of the name.
UPDATE [April 19th]. The Philosophy team met with School management (including the Head of School, Prof. Joanne Finkelstein) on April 8th. The main reasons cited for the decision to close the BA were low recruitment and poor returns from past students reporting their employment status. The team argued against the former, as recruitment leapt last year from 15 to 40 single hons students. The issue of role of employment statistics was also discussed. At the end of the meeting management reiterated it's position and decision.