Some UK universities cutting 'low value' arts, English courses

  • 05/09/2022

Some universities in the UK are scrapping English and arts programmes, described by the Conservative government as "dead-end courses".

A small number of British universities have planned to cut some of their courses including English literature and arts and humanities programmes.

It comes after the UK government proposed a crackdown on what ministers call 'low value' degree courses that fail to provide graduates with high-paying jobs.

As part of an education reform plan, Conservative Party leader hopeful Rishi Sunak vowed to phase out university degrees that do not improve students' "earning potential" if he became the UK's next prime minister.

The cutting of 'Mickey Mouse degrees' is a way to cut down on costs during a difficult time for tertiary institutions following COVID-19 restrictions. 

However, writer and cultural leader Courtney Sina Meredith told AM the courses should stay.

"As a proud English major myself and an author of five books - please don't scrap them," Meredith said.

She said an arts degree provides a wide range of jobs spread across different sectors such as teaching and journalism.

"Well-read, articulate, eloquent people are always employable."

Meredith said while she understands people want to "tighten their belts", our stories are important and should be read.

"The best plays, the best theatre, all of those really ancient arts which are embedded and founded in the written and spoken word. We wouldn't be where we are right now if we didn't have very passionate English majors out there."