The number of students entering into Higher Education (HE) continues to grow and as such the sector now stands at the threshold of a major shift in its philosophy. No longer does the academic prerogative belong to a generation who valued learning for the sake of enlightenment. Many contemporary undergraduate students enter their programmes of study with a primary desire to improve their position on the subsequent employability market. Universities have been quick to meet this need and institutional offerings have followed suit, enabling students to gain experience in a range of additional and subsidiary programmes that focus on the provision of ‘value added’ benefits. Here, students are encouraged to develop expertise in a range of topics from entrepreneurship and enterprise to intellectual property and even leadership skills. The first round of casualties that fall victim to such a shift are those programmes of study embedded within the humanities. As is evidenced by the falling numbers of enrolling students, the incoming cohort is less likely now to engage with such programmes, while participation in programmes that have a clear employability component has never been so high.
Research Professor. Director at Learning Change Project – Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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