Middlesex Philosophy Department Faces Closure
Shocking news: on Monday, staff of the renowned Philosophy Department at Middlesex University in London were informed that, due to budget cuts, the department is to be closed down. Regular frieze contributor, Nina Power, who was awarded her PhD from Middlesex in 2006 and is now a lecturer at Roehampton University, has expressed her dismay on her blog, along with letters from fellow academics and options for action and protest. As a friend wrote to me: ‘I can’t tell you how shocking this is. The closure of an entire department has severe implications and symbolic resonance. Especially one which has been incredibly important not only to philosophy but contemporary art and has seen numerous contemporary artists, curators, writers and critical thinkers who currently play crucial roles in the intellectually vibrant contemporary art scene here in London pass through its programmes.’
The Radical Philosophy journal, which operates out of Middlesex, has sent out this email:
‘Late on Monday 26 April, staff in Philosophy at Middlesex University in London were informed that the University executive are to close all Philosophy programmes: undergraduate, postgraduate and MPhil/PhD. Philosophy is the highest research-rated subject at Middlesex University, with 65% of its research activity judged ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ in the UK government’s recent Research Assessment Exercise. It is now widely recognised as one of the most important centres for the study of modern European philosophy anywhere in the English-speaking world. Its MA programmes in Philosophy have grown in recent years to become the largest in UK, with 42 new students admitted in September 2009. Middlesex offers one of only a handful of programmes left in the UK that provides both research-driven and inclusive post-graduate teaching aimed at a wide range of students, specialist and non-specialist. It is also one of relatively few such programmes that remains financially viable, currently contributing close to half of its total income to the University’s central administration. Needless to say, Radical Philosophy very much regret this decision to terminate Philosophy at Middlesex, and its likely consequences for the teaching of philosophy in the UK. This is a shameful decision which essentially means the end of the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy, a hub for internationally renowned scholarship. This act of wilful self-harm by the University must be resisted.
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