Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Closure of Philosophy Dept. at Middlesex Uni.

I am so shocked and saddened (and angered) to hear that Middlesex University has made the short-sighted (and what can only be called political) decision to axe their entire Philosophy Department. Next year (Sept. 2010 to May 2011) will be the final intake of full-time MA students - no further part-time intake will occur; but current part-time students (like my husband) who are just now completing their first of two part-time years, will be allowed to complete next year.

This is the end of their undergraduate, MA and PhD programmes. Who knows what will happen to the publication 'Radical Philosophy' as its editorial board is comprised of the staff from this department. This is one of the finest collections of academics working on contemporary continental philosophy today and they are just being chucked on the scrap heap, regardless of their accolades, high RAE rating (the highest for the whole uni.!), academic contributions, or huge recruitment numbers.

Just incredible. Peter Hallward's email informing of the situation reads in part:

"Dear all,

"Late on Monday 26 April, the Dean of the School of Arts & Humanities, Ed Esche, acting on the instructions of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Enterprise
Waqar Ahmad and the Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic Margaret House, informed staff that the University has decided to close down all our Philosophy programmes.

"The Dean explained that the decision to terminate recruitment and close the programmes was based on the fact that the University believes that it may be able to generate more revenue if it shifts its resources to other subjects. (As
it stands, with the highest RAE rating of any unit in the University, Philosophy and Religious Studies contributes just over half of its income to the central University administration, after the deduction of School admin costs. To the best of our knowledge the MA programme has grown to become the largest in Philosophy in the UK).

"The MA will run as normal for the last time next year, September 2010 through to September 2011, but without any new part-time students. All current part-time students will be able to complete the degree next year, and the Dean has
promised us that the University will 'guarantee the student experience.' We will continue to admit full-time applicants next year, so there should still be a good number of students on the modules.


"Needless to say, all of the CRMEP staff very much regret this decision, and its likely consequences for Middlesex and for the teaching of Philosophy in the UK...."

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