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 3 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

Daniel Mitchell illustration (29 June 2017)

Academics who think they can do the work of professional staff better than professional staff themselves are not showing the kind of respect they expect from others

As the pay of BBC on-air talent is revealed, one academic comes clean about his salary

Senior academics at Teesside University put at risk of redundancy as summer break gets under way

Capsized woman and boat

Early career academics can be left to sink or swim when navigating the choppy waters of learning scholarly writing. Helen Sword says a more formal, communal approach can help everyone, especially women

Thorns and butterflies

Conditions that undermine the notion of scholarly vocation – relentless work, ubiquitous bureaucracy – can cause academics acute distress and spur them to quit, says Ruth Barcan