Wednesday, August 22, 2007

They're gunning for us, you know ...

The BBC reports that the TaxPayers' Alliance (an organization that seems to get most of its information from the Daily Telegraph) has released a document criticizing the number of 'non-courses' offered by UK Universities. Their argument is that "[b]y offering 'non-courses' and blurring the distinction between learning that demands serious scholarship and that which requires none, universities put at risk academic credibility."

Why does this matter to us in the sf community? Because the TPA's second example of a 'non-course' is the University of Glamorgan's BSc [Hons] in Science: Fiction and Culture.

At the heart of this particular instance, of course, is the old argument used to discredit Media Studies degrees - 'I can watch television programmes, so clearly a degree in them is just rubbish'. Well, I'm sure these people can read books as well,* but that doesn't invalidate English Literature degrees. To suggest that the study of sf does not require academic rigour is insulting. But I am hardly surprised.

* Actually, I'm not completely sure about that.

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