Statement from the Academy of Social Sciences
“The Academy of Social Sciences has welcomed the prospect of extra student places that the Chancellor spoke about in his Autumn Statement today [5 December 2013]. A greater number of university students is good for the economy and for a cohesive society.
The Academy notes the Chancellor’s promise of an extra £50 million for universities taking more STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) students, and an additional £500 million a year for science capital projects.
The Academy believes that tackling issues such as climate change, behavioural change, an ageing population and new technologies requires natural and social scientists to work closely together, so the latter need secure funding too. ‘Science’ must include social science when making policy.
So it is vital that in its detailed allocations the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills ensures social science research funding, and funding for social science undergraduate and postgraduate students, is maintained. Our country’s social science is rated the best in the world, with the exception of the much larger USA, and it is essential this UK global success story is not diminished.
The Academy is also concerned about how practical and sustainable it is to fund the extra cost of additional student places by selling off student debt or other assets, as appears to be the Government’s intention. It also calls for clearer information on future cuts to the BIS budget so that it can see whether the considerable contribution that social science makes to growth and innovation is supported both now and for the future.”
For more information, please contact:
Press Officer, Academy of Social Sciences/Campaign for Social Science