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.

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

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

Home secretary says government will support 'best' universities

Man handing microphone to audience member

Academic attainment of disadvantaged students can be improved if they can decide how they are assessed, study claims

Woman drinking tea from saucer

Plugging a multibillion-pound deficit exacerbated by June’s poll result may require ‘drastic measures’, analysts have warned

Italy's gold medallist

New measures to ensure universities are ‘not penalised’ for taking poorer students also outlined for next stage of TEF

Classroom, school

Higher education institutions can and should do more to influence education at a secondary school level, says Edward Peck