This is the blurb I wrote for the campaign to save the Philosophy programme at Keele University. Can we really put a price on an education? How do you decide on its value?
My name’s Andrew Willetts, in my second year of studying Politics and International Relations at Keele University, and this is why I think we need to keep Philosophy alive.
The humanities are founded on philosophy. The capacity for self-awareness, being able to ask “who am I? Why am I here?” is what sets us apart from the other creatures on the face of this planet. Philosophy created the other sections of humanities, such as Plato being one of the first people to think about how societies operate, i.e. political philosophy. The academic study of criminology was founded by 2 philosophers.
If the senior management want to push the University away from its roots to being a science-based university that can provide scientists to advance the cause of business, then maybe they should be looking at how to save money in other areas as well. How does not paying any member of staff over £100,000 per year sound?
However, for those of us who see a university as a place of learning and education, then the value of philosophy and the Philosophy programme cannot be measured in financial figures alone. Can we really put a price on an education? How do you decide on its value?