Cardiff University has recently proposed closing down its entire Humanities classes from its Lifelong Learning programme, denying adults the opportunity to enhance their understanding of a variety of subjects including: literature, history and archaeology, music, creative writing, philosophy, art history, religion, photography and Welsh.
Obviously this decision has a lot of personal resonance for me, I taught a history course at Learn, and it was probably the most enjoyable teaching gig I’ve done, with people really interested in the subject. Several friends still do work there and they are threatened with losing that employment.
More generally though I think it’s a shocking indication of the retreat from what a university should be – an institution engaged with its local community seeking to advance knowledge and understanding – and a move towards simply becoming a vocational skills training centre, not interested in anything but readying people for employment and getting private sector funding.
The decision has not yet been taken and if it can be made clear to the university that there is considerable opposition to this move then they may be persuaded to reconsider. If you are a right-minded individual (and if you aren’t, why are you reading my blog) you will doubtless be horrified and appalled and will want to join the facebook group (http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=87834969960) or if you’re a bit old-fashioned, write to the Vice-Chancellor and/or Jane Hutt AM, the Welsh Assembly Government Minister for Children, Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills.
Dr. David Grant,
Telephone 02920 874835
Jane Hutt AM
Minister for Education and Lifelong Learning
Welsh Assembly Government