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The Decline of the English and Humanities Departments of Universities - Research Paper Example

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Name: Professor: Course: Date: The Decline of the English and Humanities Departments of Universities Introduction The enrollment of English and Humanities students into Universities around the world has reduced over the recent years. There is a sharp contrast between the once popular study of Humanistic subjects and Literature and todays lack of emphasis on such subjects…
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The Decline of the English and Humanities Departments of Universities
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Download file to see previous pages Regardless of this reduced interest in Humanities, it is important to note that Scientists and Economists alike rely on languages and Humanities in their researches, analyses and presentations (Howard 24). The purpose of this paper is to explore the effects of such a decline and the proposal of possible solutions to reverse the situation. Different policymakers and educators have become more and more responsive of the significance of understanding the learning practices of other countries. This is done on the basis to evaluate the comparative standing of their education results as a sign of international financial competitiveness. In any given society or nation, education forms a point of reference from where economic development is achieved and the improvement of the living standards. Howard (34) notes that the great loss and disappearance of great works, the consistent devaluation of humanities against the sciences and the sluggish speed of humanities as compared to that of hi-technologies are all factors for the reduced interest in humanities. With this also comes the fact that parents and students alike desire a profitable return for their big investments in high education. Thus, more and more students turn to Science subjects and Economics. It is worth contemplating that English and humanities departments should be made in such a way that learners are assured of getting job once they leave their colleges. This will be the only way through which the decline of such subjects will be minimized in the end. As Chace (35) suggests, the major cause for this has been the failure of the English and Humanities’ departments on themselves to champion the material they teach. For instance, English departments have shifted their focus from once popular books and literature to arbitrary studies, such as identity, popular culture, sexuality and abstruse theory. The result is that the books, which ought to be studied independently, have become a secondary rather than a primary source, being used only to give information about these studies. The impact of this is that the departments “have distanced themselves from young people interested in good books” (Chace 36). This explains the reduction in enrollment into Humanities over the past few decades, whereby, even with an increased capacity of student enrollment into universities, there has been a significant reduction of the students enrolled in these departments. Besides, while English departments are responsible for teaching composition in the Universities- a central activity in higher education- its instructors are among the lowest paid, sometimes being considered as a liability rather than an asset (Chace 40). This has formed a point of reference from where many of the instructors have been forced to seek well paying jobs, in so doing resulting to the decline of certain departments. The fact that many higher education institutions have had to close their humanities and foreign languages departments so as to cut ion cost is in itself a daunting and frightening fact to the absolute future of humanities. Similarly, several studies show that the faculty jobs for humanities are diminishing while that of social sciences is increasing. For instance, one such study by Stanford University in 2006 shows that between 1915 and 1955, the faculty ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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