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‘Save our universities’ pleas continue in UK

A few days ago we noted two letters in the Times calling for support for UK universities as the country prepares for £6 billion of public sector cuts. As predicted, more lobbying has been forthcoming.

Today’s Telegraph features another letter from some of the country’s top businessmen pushing for protection for universities. There’s even a story on the front page about the letter (although it is below the fold).

“We need a credible plan for restoring fiscal balance, but urge the government to be cautious over those elements of public spending that are vital to the future growth and prosperity of our economy – science, innovation and knowledge,” says the letter, which has signatories including senior VP at GlaxoSmithKline Simon Jose and chairman of Shell James Smith.

“This is the approach being taken in America and by other international competitors. We cannot afford to be left behind in international league tables.”

Getting in on the action is the British Academy, the UK’s humanities and social sciences academy, which launches a new report arguing that it is not just university science that should be protected.

“How can we slow climate change if we don’t support work on how people change their behaviour? How can we make medical and scientific advances without analysing their human and ethical implications?” asks Adam Roberts, president of the British Academy (press release).

“The inter-dependencies of science and the humanities and social sciences have never been clearer in the fast-paced, technologically advanced world we now live. It is vital we make sure these disciplines are sustained in order to protect our long-term interests as a nation.”

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