British Education Secretary Criticizes Universities as "Medieval Concept"

"The medieval concept of a community of scholars seeking truth is not in itself a justification for the state to put money into that. We might do it at say a level of a hundredth of what we do now" says Education Secretary, Charles Clarke. Britain's Education Secretary, Charles Clarke, has university scholars seeing red. Recently, the Secretary opined that funding for purely academic study should get only 1% of current funding because it did not contribute to the country's economy, and suggested that study for its own sake is merely "an adornment to society". Clarke's remarks have the university community up in arms, leading him to defend his statement.

"I positively support the spread and development of both classical and medieval studies. What I have said on a number of occasions, including at Worcester, is that the 'medieval concept' of the university as a community of scholars is only a very limited justification for the state to fund the apparatus of universities. It is the wider social and economic role of universities which justifies more significant state financial support."

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