- Nick Clegg and Paul Blomfield, MPs for Sheffield
- United Kingdom
We're about to send it off.
We are writing to express our disagreement with the Government’s proposals drastically to cut funding for undergraduate study and to compensate with a correspondingly large rise in tuition fees.
The following members of the University of Sheffield's Department of Philosophy wish to express our disagreement with the Government’s proposals drastically to cut funding for undergraduate study and to compensate with a correspondingly large rise in tuition fees.
We believe that higher education is a public good that should be, at least in key part, funded by the state. Training young minds leads to a richer collective culture; a more reflective and engaged democratic community; and to the more effective workings of the many and various endeavours, both public and private, which employ graduates. This is as true of the humanities as of the sciences and engineering. Indeed, the study of the humanities brings distinct benefits, including an openness to new ideas and cultural difference; an ability to interpret what others are saying, however complex and unfamiliar it might at first seem; and the capacity to analyse a problem incisively, to articulate a range of possible solutions, and to evaluate the merits of each in a judicious manner.
These and the other skills students acquire in studying Philosophy and other humanities degrees are precisely those our economy needs if it is to flourish in a rapidly changing and largely post-industrial world. They are also those our society needs if it is to confront the most difficult challenges facing it in the coming years. It is for the good of all that more, rather than fewer, members of society have those skills. It is for the good of all that those skills are spread as widely across the social spectrum as possible. Yet the Government is proposing a policy that treats the acquisition of those skills as something that benefits only students themselves, and that should thus be paid for almost entirely by those students. That policy can only limit the number of those willing to enter higher education and contract the range of social backgrounds from which they come. We urge the Government to rethink the policy completely.
This letter is endorsed by the following individuals:
Prof. Robert Hopkins, Head of Department
The Sheffield Philosophy Against Education Cuts petition to Nick Clegg and Paul Blomfield, MPs for Sheffield was written by Jenny and is in the category Education at GoPetition.