Missed education

July 14, 2016

The article questioning how an anti-intellectual Leave campaign won makes some important points, but it only emphasises a tendency that prevails in UK public culture, namely the devaluation of knowledge, going hand in hand with the destruction of higher education (“Academics take stock after Brexiteer victory over ‘the experts’”, News, 1 July).

In the bigger picture, this devaluation is accompanied by a preference of the presentation and appearance of arguments over their substance. Academics may still enjoy trust, but this applies only to a minority of the people, while a majority is deeply alienated from the values of education and knowledge.

What is fundamentally needed is a (re)emphasis of the difference between “opinion” and “knowledge” for a public to resist the power of demagogy that we have witnessed in the referendum campaigns. But we find ourselves in a deeply divided society along the lines of education and value systems. This throws up a lot of questions to do with the rebuilding of social cohesion, trust and public morality.

I am afraid that without a profound and widespread campaign for the values of education and knowledge, there are no good prospects for the UK. The achievements of an open, democratic society, whose main condition is education, not “transferable skills”, are much more fragile than many would have thought and do not allow for gambling.

Louisa1996
Via timeshighereducation.com


Send to

Letters should be sent to: THE.Letters@tesglobal.com
Letters for publication in Times Higher Education should arrive by 9am Monday.
View terms and conditions.

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

United Nations peace keeper

Understanding the unwritten rules of graduate study is vital if you want to get the most from your PhD supervision, say Kevin O'Gorman and Robert MacIntosh

David Parkins Christmas illustration (22 December 2016)

A Dickensian tale, set in today’s university

Eleanor Shakespeare illustration (5 January 2017)

Fixing problems in the academic job market by reducing the number of PhDs would homogenise the sector, argues Tom Cutterham

poi, circus

Kate Riegle van West had to battle to bring her circus life and her academic life together

man with frozen beard, Lake Louise, Canada

Australia also makes gains in list of most attractive English-speaking nations as US slips