Three years ago, I embarked on a journey that saw the birth of Save Our Rights UK. Our mission, which remains unwavering, is to champion justice, equality, and human rights around the world. Over the years, we’ve navigated through an ocean of triumphs, trials, and tenacity, witnessing firsthand the incredible resilience of the human spirit and the inspiring courage of those who refuse to bow to injustice. The path we’ve tread, though fraught with challenges, has only served to fortify our resolve and underscore the critical importance of our work.
In recent times, a new battlefront has emerged – the struggle to safeguard the sanctity and breadth of education. The skirmishes began in our schools, extended to our homes, and have now breached the walls of our universities. The consequences of these attacks are chilling and far-reaching.
A painful blow was recently dealt when an assortment of humanities and liberal arts courses were targeted for discontinuation because they don’t lead directly to “high paying jobs”. This host of courses includes BA (Hons) Drama, BA (Hons) English Language and Linguistics (with Foundation Year), BA (Hons) Philosophy and BSc (Hons) Anthropology among others. The removal of these subjects not only shreds the rich tapestry of knowledge available in our universities but also snuffs out the beacon of cultural and educational excellence that has historically shone from them.
This isn’t merely about the discontinuation of a few university courses. Each course represents a unique branch of knowledge, a particular worldview, an opportunity for questioning and exploration. They are conduits of passion, learning, and self-discovery; instruments for sparking curiosity and cultivating critical thinking; and incubators for the freedom to dream, to debate, and to dissect the world around us. The loss is profound and deeply personal to each student whose life was poised to be enriched by these subjects.
We must see the removal of these courses for what it is: an ominous sign of a government that values economic viability over the cultivation of thought, cultural understanding, and well-rounded education. It sends a chilling message to our young people when we insinuate that the study of classics, drama, philosophy, and languages lacks value. We are teetering dangerously on the edge of a precipice where education serves the job market and not the human spirit, love of learning, and mental and emotional nourishment.
An education that puts a premium on employability statistics and graduate earnings, while eschewing the softer yet equally critical aspects of human development, is both regressive and short-sighted. The study of humanities and liberal arts nurtures empathy, understanding, and cultural awareness. It fuels curiosity, debate, and critical thinking, helping create well-rounded individuals who appreciate the world in all its layers of complexity.
Stripping these courses from universities will not only deny our young people the benefits of a broad education, but it also cripples the richness and diversity of our society. A society thrives when it has thinkers, visionaries, and individuals who can look at the world from myriad perspectives. The diverse perspectives and critical thinking born out of studying courses like these – which the government aims to restrict – are vital to the development of a vibrant, healthy society.
The loss of these subjects and the wealth of perspectives they offer will not only disadvantage students, but our society at large. Our ability to empathise, to reason, to judge, and critically analyse stems from exposure to a wide range of viewpoints. A diversity reflective of the world we inhabit, a world teeming with different cultures, ideas, and ways of life.
In the face of this adversity, we must unite and defend our right to comprehensive education. Join us as we lobby against this decision, use the form below to email your MP and Rishi Sunak himself, and make your voices heard.