Announcements

Middlesex University Shamefully Cuts Philosophy Department

This week the administration at Middlesex University has made a decision to cut the entirety of their highest-rated department: their philosophy department including all undergrad and graduate (MA/MPhil/PhD) programmes. The following is an announcement letter from Peter Hallward, Peter Osborne,  and Stella Sandford:

Dear colleagues,

Late on Monday 26 April, the Dean of the School of Arts & Humanities, Ed Esche, informed staff in Philosophy that the University executive had ‘accepted his recommendation’ to close all Philosophy programmes: undergraduate, postgraduate and MPhil/PhD.

Philosophy is the highest buy levitra online sildenafil research-rated subject in the University. Building on its grade 5 rating in RAE2001, it was awarded a score of 2.8 on the new RAE scale in 2008, with 65% of its research activity judged ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. It is now widely recognised as one of the most important centres for the study of modern European philosophy generic drugs levitra anywhere in the English-speaking world.

The MA programmes in Philosophy at Middlesex have grown in recent years to become the largest in the UK, with 42 new students admitted in September 2009.

The Dean explained that the decision to terminate recruitment and close the programmes was ’simply financial’, and 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 – from ‘Band D’ to ‘Band C’ students.

As you may know, the University currently expects each academic unit to contribute 55% of its gross income to the central administration. As it stands (by the credit count method of calculation), Philosophy and Religious Studies contributes 53%, after the deduction of School admin costs. According to the figures for projected recruitment from admissions (with Philosophy undergraduate applications up 118% for 2010-11), if programmes had remained open, the contribution from Philosophy and Religious Studies would have risen to 59% (with Philosophy’s contribution, considered on its own, at 53%).

In a meeting with Philosophy staff, the Dean acknowledged the excellent research reputation of Philosophy at Middlesex, but said that it made no ‘measurable’ contribution to the University.

Needless to say, we very much regret this decision to terminate Philosophy, and its likely consequences for the School and our University and for the teaching of our subject in the UK.

· Professor Peter Hallward, Programme Leader for the MA programmes in
Philosophy,

· Professor Peter Osborne, Director, Centre for Research in Modern European
Philosophy,

· Dr. Stella Sandford, Director of Programmes, Philosophy

[source]

Nina Power has written an article in the Guardian commenting on the situation here: “A Blow to Philosophy, and Minorities”

Of the many ways that support for the department has materialised, there is an official website here, a Facebook group, and a petition to sign, with over 3,000 signatures and counting. There are also instructions here on how and who to write letters to the university administrators at Middlesex.

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(Sculpture by Sara Cunningham-Bell)

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