Ant Bagshaw, Harriet Barnes, Tor-Arne Njamo, Kerry Shepherd, Helen Watson
The Industrial Strategy, the productivity puzzle, apprenticeships – all issues which are high on the government’s agenda and where the solutions are seen to be in science, technology and engineering. But over half of university students in the UK are studying arts, humanities and social sciences. Is HE setting them up to be unqualified for the world they will be going into?
The British Academy’s Flagship Skills Project has looked at the skills which studying the arts, humanities and social sciences develop, and the contribution that they make to society and to the economy through employment. We have found that students of these subjects are able to navigate change and deal with ambiguity, appreciate multiple perspectives, evaluate evidence and present a case, and manage themselves and lead others to solve problems, all skills that will be crucial in a future in which the only thing which is certain is uncertainty. But these subjects, with a few exceptions, fall in the bottom half of the table when it comes to graduate salary outcomes.
This panel discussion will look at the evidence for why graduates in these subjects may be earning less and how else we might measure the contribution they make to society, in order to debate whether studying arts, humanities and social sciences is worth it.
Deputy Director, Wonkhe
Head of Policy, British Academy