Alternatives to the market

July 8, 2010

We would like to add our support to Richard Evans' plea to the University of Sussex to rethink its policy for the department of history ("Sussex cuts threaten a proud history of research-led excellence", 10 June).

As the professional organisation representing the historians of Germany and German-speaking lands for the UK and Ireland, we believe that the proposed cuts are based on the false assumption that universities have to follow the diktat of the market.

The coming years in British higher education will be difficult ones as public funding is cut significantly, but humanities subjects such as history retain an important function for a humanistic education. This cannot necessarily be measured against impact and business plans, but should be seen in the context of the spread of humanistic values. Higher education would be the poorer for ignoring such alternative benchmarks.

Stefan Berger, Chair, German History Society in the UK and Ireland (on behalf of the committee of the GHS).

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