‘Bridge gap between arts and sciences’

RESEARCHERS should spend more time teaching students and humanities subjects should be taught in all third-level faculties, a major report recommends.

The report to Education Minister Mary Coughlan on arts and humanities in higher education calls for mandatory undergraduate courses in these areas for students of degrees in all disciplines, including business and science. It calls for wider discipline combinations, such as technical or scientific subjects with courses in the arts and humanities, and calls for economic policy to focus on developing the contribution of the arts in areas such as creative arts, digital content creation and tourism.

Higher Education Authority (HEA) chairman Michael Kelly said the artificial divide in higher education courses between the humanities and the sciences must be removed.

“From Boston to Beijing, Ireland is known for its contribution to literature, music, the arts as well as our heritage and history. We’ve got to say we’re proud of this and encourage our graduates to utilise their knowledge and skills in these areas to promote Ireland as a global centre of creativity,” he said.

“It also means we’ve got to get artists talking with our scientists, and our engineers working with our historians and archaeologists to a much greater extent than before,” Mr Kelly said.

The report, written by a team of authors led by Professor Maurice Bric of University College Dublin, calls for clearer stresses on the links between teaching and research. It has been claimed that leading academics and researchers have not been sharing their expertise as much as possible with degree students in recent years.


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