Katie Hopkins and Will Self debate value of arts degrees

A debate on whether “an arts degree is a waste of time and money” saw the motion decisively defeated.

三月 9, 2014

The event, organised by the Spectator magazine and Brewin Dolphin investment consultants, took place in London’s Shaw Theatre on 4 March.

Former Apprentice contestant and Sun columnist Katie Hopkins argued that “we no longer have the luxury of the liberal arts”.

When it was announced that she was taking part in the debate, she told the audience, Nicholas Stern, president of the British Academy, had made a point of describing her as “utterly stupid”. Yet her advice to young people was: “Don’t follow your heart; follow jobs”. It was “mediaeval”, she added, that “we still teach students on university campuses”.

Julia Hobsbawm, founder of the networking business Editorial Intelligence, described the snobbery she had faced earlier in her career because she did not have an arts degree, suggesting that today’s “arts graduates are not moving into a market which can fully support them”.

Spectator columnist and contributing editor Harry Cole called his degree in social anthropology “an MA in sweet FA”. He had worked out that it had cost him £20 an hour “to be lectured by an incomprehensible Frenchman with a goatee” and wondered why “some [academic] subjects spend more time questioning if they are a subject than being a subject”. Could it really be right that “our universities are splitting at the seams with time-wasters like me”?

Arguing against the motion, entrepreneur Doug Richard declared that his opponents wanted to “reduce us all to vocational economic drones”, when in reality an arts degree was “a core opportunity to learn to think, be creative and innovate”.

Anthony Seldon, headmaster of Wellington College, claimed the debate was really “about the future of humankind, of living life fully”.

Novelist Will Self, professor of contemporary thought at Brunel University, agreed that it was all about “spiritual values and nurturing the soul”. Politicians anxious about “unassimilable immigrants” should come to his classes to “see young women in hijabs discussing Spinoza’s religious philosophy”.

And those who believed that face-to-face contact no longer had a place in education should “start bringing up their kids on Skype”.

matthew.reisz@tsleducation.com

登录 或者 注册 以便阅读全文。

请先注册再进行下一步

获得一个月的无限制地在线阅读网站内容。只需注册并完成您的职业简介.

注册是免费的,而且非常简单。一旦成功注册,您可以每个月免费阅读3篇文章。:

  • 获得编辑推荐文章
  • 率先获得泰晤士高等教育世界大学排名相关的新闻
  • 获得职位推荐、筛选工作和保存工作搜索结果
  • 参与读者讨论和公布评论
注册

欢迎反馈

Log in or register to post comments

评论最多