The news last night made me ponder – yet again – how universities are going to make the case for Arts & Humanities degrees under the new fee regime.
Listening to David Willetts insist that universities should give students more information about contact hours and employment prospects (as if they don’t do that kind of thing already), I found myself additionally wondering about the future of our art schools.
Surely £9,000 fees will deter all but the well-supported middle classes from going to art school? And surely the most interesting developments in artistic practice emerge from situations in which there is no immediate pressure to achieve a particular outcome? What happened to the educational ideal of creative and intellectual exploration and experimentation for their own sake?
It’s odd that our political elite – themselves mostly the product of an Arts & Humanities education – seem so determined to force HE into a miserable instrumentalist straitjacket.