Japan’s Education Ministry Says to Axe Social Science and Humanities

Humanities and Social Sciences academic departments are being shut down by the Japanese government which has ordered their eventual closure all over the country. This decision concerns the majority of national universities, and starkly foregrounds questions surrounding the necessity of scholarship, the use(s) of HSS and how the ‘value’ of academic research is assessed. At least 26 of Japan’s 60 national universities that have departments of the humanities or the social sciences plan to close those faculties after a ministerial request from the Japanese government, according to a new survey of university presidents by The Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper. A June 8 letter from Hakubun Shimomura, the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, to all of Japan’s 86 national universities and all of the nation’s higher education organizations asks them to take “active steps to abolish [social science and humanities] organizations or to convert them to serve areas that better meet society’s needs.” The call focuses on undergraduate departments and graduate programs that train teachers, and includes the areas of law and economics. To back up the request – which was made “in the light of the decrease of the university-age population, the demand for human resources and the quality control […]

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Black History Month Film Festival at the University of Portsmouth

During October, the University of Portsmouth celebrates its first Black History Month Film Festival in partnership with the Portsmouth Film Society. This will be launched by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Graham Galbraith, on Thursday 8 October, 6pm at the Eldon Café, prior to the screening of Selma. Film programme: Selma – Thursday 8 October, 7.00pm The Help – Thursday 15 October, 7.00pm Timbuktu – Thursday 22 October, 7.00pm Dear White People – Thursday 29 October, 7.00pm Tickets are £6 and can be booked from the Portsmouth Film Society by email: info@portsmouthfilmsociety.org.uk, or calling 07528 808400. Link to the event: http://www.port.ac.uk/staffessentials/whatson/events/eventdetails,191260,en.html

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