The Attic (a name which commemorates our first physical location) is, first and foremost, a site for the research students of the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester: a virtual community which aims to include all students, be they campus-based and full-time, or distance-learning and overseas. But we welcome contributions from students of museum studies - and allied subject areas - from outside the School and from around the world. Here you will find a lot of serious stuff, like exhibition and research seminar reviews, conference alerts and calls for papers, but there's also some 'fluff'; the things that inspire, distract and keep us going. After all, while we may be dead serious academic types, we're human too.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Funding Cuts and the Impact

I am pretty sure that most people reading this will have heard about the proposed funding cuts to higher education. While this is clearly going to impact at all levels, I do feel that a number of issues haven't been so clearly articulated in the media, which has tended to concentrate, in my understanding, on the undergraduate market.

Firstly, the impact upon research councils. This is of huge importance, not merely for individuals funded by them, but for research groups, departmental work and those trying to set up conferences and collaborative endeavors on a limited budget.

Secondly, when we begin to lose subjects, we begin to loose our heads. Yes, I have a history background, yes, I like old books, but I was really saddened to hear about the loss of the chair of Paleography at KCL. It might not be popular, but it's valuable. I'm saddened, as much as anything, by a world in which popularity constitutes the only marker of value.

Yes, there may well be 6000 less university places next year, but that just means people will have to be better and try harder, and I really don't think that holds a candle to the loss of knowledge.

4 comments:

Amy said...

Well said Jenny. I saw David Lammy on the news this morning. He seemed very preoccupied with maintaining world-class 'scientific' research - no mention of the arts and the humanities. I thought that was very telling.

Abi said...

I agree, it is very worrying. Another worry is the serious risks to university museums that such cuts would cause:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2010/jan/23/funding-crisis-university-museums

Jenny said...

You're right, both of you - these are other issues which are frequently ignored.

Louise said...

Recent press on HEFCE funding for University Museums

http://www.museumsassociation.org/museums-journal/news/02022010-university-museums-escape-cuts