A message from the Dean – UNSW Arts and Social Sciences

The Dean of UNSW Arts & Social Sciences Professor Claire Annesley responds to the government’s move to decrease funding to Humanities degrees.

 

 

Professor Claire Annesley | 22 Jun 2020

The immense value of Arts and Social Science education is well established. Our students know it, our alumni know it, our University leadership, as do the many Arts graduates in positions of leadership in government, business and other organisations across Australia and globally.

And employers know it too.

Now, more than ever, businesses, organisations and industries across Australia need Arts and Social Science graduates to help shape global success. Smart, critical minds skilled to challenge perceived wisdoms, question orthodoxies and adapt rapidly to change. Graduates who have the skills to analyse and make sense of the complex problems facing the world today – how we can live together on this planet - grounded in diverse knowledge from the past.

Prof Claire Annesley
Professor Claire Annesley

UNSW Arts & Social Science students, graduates and alumni are not just deep thinkers, they are innovative do-ers and excellent communicators, problem solvers, game changers, policy influencers. These skills are in strong demand from employers. They always were and they always will be.

Malcolm Duncan, Chair of UNSW Arts & Social Sciences Advisory Council says that his BA and MA in Arts gave him critical thinking and transferable skills that have allowed him - and countless others - to continually pivot his career to the changing demands of a rapidly changing economy.

It’s true: there is no one career option for our students. They go on to do a multitude of amazing things.

Across this month, UNSW Arts Soc, headed by our student Adelaide Holm, is running a careers fair. This brings students together with our alumni and industry experts to expose our students to the massive range of options open to them after they graduate. Our students find their passion and change the world.

Raising the cost of Arts and Social Science degrees will not change any of this. But what it may do is close down this option to students who can least afford it. Arts & Social Sciences cannot become the preserve of a wealthy elite. Our society needs diversity of thought to drive the innovation and social change needed today.

We will be launching a fundraising campaign to develop a suite of scholarships for students who suddenly fear their passion is now out of reach.