02 December 2010

Message from Professor Simon Jarvis

Dear friends and colleagues,

I attach a link to an interview which I gave recently on local radio, in case, like me, you wish to oppose the assault which is currently in train on the humanities and social sciences, and in case, if so, this might divert or hearten you. Please forward to anyone on whom it might have the same effect(s). Apologies to anyone for whom this is already old hat.

My bit starts at around 14.08:


If you are moved to further action, you might want to consider joining a campaign in which I am involved: Humanities and Social Sciences Matter. Our statement follows below. You can sign the petition at


If you should like to register support for the Cambridge occupation, you can do that at:


Good wishes to one and all!


Britain has an higher education system that punches far above its weight internationally, especially compared to the USA and Europe. The productivity and creativity of our arts, humanities and social sciences are one of Britain's great economic and cultural success stories. Yet the Coalition Government is poised to jeopardise all this needlessly and irresponsibly. There is no defensible economic basis for its proposed changes: these will only increase public expenditure in this and the next Parliament.

The nationwide scale and duration of this week's enormously peaceful student demonstrations reflect this deep skepticism about the Government's reasons and reasoning.

We believe that:

1. Everything our universities have achieved should not be recklessly risked after three weeks reflecting on the deeply flawed 'Browne Review'; 2. The block Arts & Humanities teaching grant should not be summarily slashed on this basis; 3. We need a public enquiry to create a positive vision for British universities fit for the 21st century.

The Coalition Government is not offering any such vision - theirs is neither fit for our children, our economy nor our future.

If you believe in this too, please visit our campaign website http://humanitiesmatter.wordpress.com and sign the petition you can find there.

Simon Jarvis