Don’t shut down Heythrop College

August 6, 2015

We are writing to express our concern at the news that Heythrop College, a college of the University of London that specialises in philosophy and theology, is to close (“Heythrop College to end in ‘current form’ and leave University of London”, 26 June). In their announcement, the governors stressed that although the college would close, its mission and work would not.

We sincerely hope that the governors will reconsider their decision to close the college, and that they are aware of some of the excellent teaching and research that has been carried out in both theology and philosophy in recent years. The college offers a unique approach to the study of philosophy, and the theology submission (including philosophy) to the 2014 research excellence framework received good rankings. We sincerely hope that the college will revive its excellent provision of undergraduate teaching in subjects that, according to a number of recent reports, are sought after by a certain group of students and also by those employers who value “flexible minds adaptable to managing change” (see the philosophy profile developed for the Council for Industry and Higher Education, 2007).

The world of work needs students who have developed not only the skills required for business but also a sense of moral purpose. Heythrop is especially well equipped to offer this.

Alison Assiter, University of the West of England
Alison Ainley, principal lecturer philosophy, Anglia Ruskin University
Robin Attfield, philosophy, Cardiff University
Sorin Baisu, philosophy programme director, Keele University
Alex Barber, head of department of philosophy, The Open University
Bob Brecher, University of Brighton
Mark Cain, programme leader for philosophy and religion, Oxford Brookes University
Quassim Cassam, philosophy, University of Warwick
Sophie-Grace Chappell, philosophy, The Open University
Stephen Clark, emeritus professor, University of Liverpool
Meena Dhanda, course leader philosophy, University of Wolverhampton
Julian Dodd, head of philosophy, University of Manchester
Joshua Fernal, honorary fellow, department of theology and religion, Durham University
Sebastian Gardner, philosophy, University College London
Jules Goddard, fellow, London Business School
Edward Harcourt, chair, philosophy faculty board, University of Oxford
Douglas Hedley, reader in hermeneutics and metaphysics, University of Cambridge
Silvia Jonas, The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute
Kath R Jones, senior lecturer in philosophy, University of Greenwich
Edward Kanterian, senior lecturer in philosophy, University of Kent
Brian Leftow, Nolloth professor of the philosophy of the christian religion, University of Oxford
Denis McManus, head of philosophy, University of Southampton
Fiona McPherson, head of philosophy, University of Glasgow
Peter Milne, philosophy, University of Stirling
Richard Norman, emeritus professor, University of Kent.
David S. Oderberg, philosophy, University of Reading
Stephen Priest, philosophy, University of Oxford
D.N. Robinson, emeritus professor, University of Oxford
David Edward Rose, subject leader in philosophy, University of Newcastle
Constantine Sandis, department of history, philosophy, and religion, Oxford Brookes University
Stella Sandford, head of department of philosophy, Kingston University
Jennifer Saul, head of department, department of philosophy, University of Sheffield
Raj Sehgal, programme convenor for philosophy, theology and religion, University of Roehampton
Robert Stern, president of the British Philosophical Association, University of Sheffield
Nicholas Shackel, reader in philosophy, University of Cardiff
Tim Thornton, professor of philosophy and mental health, University of Central Lancashire
Mark Wynn, professor of philosophy and religion, University of Leeds

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