"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
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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