Wednesday, 8 June 2011

The debate around the New College of the Humanities

Some more information about AC Grayling’s private, for-profit New College of the Humanities, as mentioned in the previous post.

You can see the website for the college
here. Blogger Infinite Thought has a long post explaining how the college will work here, and the Guardian’s first report on the project is here.

A number of problems have been raised. Academic Terry Eagleton criticises the college
here, describing it as a “disgustingly elitist outfit”. Blogger Ads Without Products suggests that the financial model of the college is not viable, a claim also examined by the Guardian here. Meanwhile the Guardian has also reported that the star professors (who include Richard Dawkins, Steven Pinker and Niall Ferguson) may only deliver one lecture a year. Concerns have also been raised about the syllabus on offer, which may have been copied from existing University of London courses.

Although the NCH website implies that there may be links between it and Birkbeck College and the University of London, Birkbeck have put out a press release stating that “Birkbeck has no links with New College and no agreement to provide New College with access to any of its facilities”. The Dean of the University of London International Programmes wrote to the Guardian today to state that “New College of the Humanities (NCH) is entirely independent and is not and will not become part of the University of London”.

UNISON Senate House will write to the Vice Chancellor of the University of London in order to clarify the position of the University towards the New College of the Humanities.

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