Who decides higher education policy? MPs, VCs, STEM and HASS
Thursday, 7 June 2012 | Admin
Who decides higher education policy? MPs, VCs, STEM and HASS by Malcolm Tight
In the UK, and in many other countries, policy makers and funding bodies emphasise the importance of the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), as opposed to the HASS disciplines (humanities, arts and social sciences), in higher education. Yet an examination of the biographies of UK members of parliament (MPs) indicates that, while they are on the whole highly educated as a group, very few of them studied STEM disciplines themselves. By comparison, UK vice-chancellors (VCs) are much more likely to have studied STEM disciplines. The possible reasons for this state of affairs are explored, and it is suggested that MPs are analogous to the philosopher rulers in Plato’s The Republic.
Higher Education Review, 44, 3: 41-53
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