21 October 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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Universities adapt to student flight from humanities

Over the last decade, students have fled the humanities. In response, universities have cancelled individual courses, or entire specialised humanities programmes. Instead of hiring tenure-track professors to replace retiring faculty, they make do with less, or turn to sessional instructors who teach when and if there is demand, writes Simona Chiose for The Globe and Mail.

As data from Statistics Canada analysed by The Globe and Mail reveal, there is no sign that the lack of interest in the humanities will reverse. While other fields have grown or held steady in the face of a drop in the university-aged population, enrolments in programmes such as English, history or languages are down by almost 6% in 2015, the last year for which national numbers are available. In response to the accelerating decline, universities are now evolving beyond temporary adjustments to permanent adaptations.

In some cases, that means combining philosophy or history with commerce. In others, it means giving humanities students the same opportunities to take on co-op work terms that have long been available to engineering or business students. Even when programmes stay the same, professors are trying new approaches to teaching to keep their courses relevant.
Full report on The Globe and Mail site
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