Australian Higher Educational Funding, HASS and the Future of Work

It has long been known that there is no one-to-one correlation between Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, or HASS, study and specific career pathways. That fact spooks some students and their parents. But it is an asset in fluid and flexible job market – and a fluid and flexible job market is precisely what we are facing when we look to the future.

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Taking A Leaf Out of Newton’s Book: Making the Best of Social Isolation

Many lament the restrictions that socially distancing orders have placed on us.

That is
understandable. But perhaps, if we focus on the positive, there is an upside to our new situation as well.

For today’s students, at least, our new post-Covid conditions of life should afford more time for direct and unfettered engagement with and exploration of great works and ideas. Indeed, it was in under similar conditions that some of the greatest works that we have come to admire and learn from were first produced.

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Liberal Arts Online

At the close of 2018 the University of Wollongong partnered with the Ramsay Centre to create a unique degree that focuses on the study of the great works of Western civilisation. In early 2019, I assumed leadership of the School of Liberal Arts with oversight of its flagship BA in Western Civilisation degree.

At the start of 2020, our School is fully operational: it is populated with outstanding staff and students and concretely established with a suite of exciting new subjects. Yet, just as our unique intellectual enterprise launched, the entire world is confronted with one of its greatest challenges – one of the greatest challenges we will face in the 21st century. The continued threat of Covid-19 requires us to drastically adjust our familiar ways of living and learning.

What does this mean for School’s study of great works of philosophy, art, literature, religion and science?

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Liberal Arts in Demand in the 21st Century Workplace

The main messages of this short INC piece, The Most Unexpected Workplace Trend Coming in 2020: the Return of the Liberal Arts Major, tally well with this analysis, Yes, Employers Do Value Liberal Arts Degrees, by the Harvard Business Review and also those of a piece I published in the Times Higher Education over a year ago – Critical thinkers honed in the liberal arts are in sharp demand.

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Narrative Practice Joins the Fight Against COVID-19

A Tale from the Decameron, by John William Waterhouse, 1916

This New Statesman piece that explains how The Decameron – a 14th-century Italian book shows us how to survive coronavirus. Narrative practices play a central part in this story: “Boccaccio’s prescription for an epidemic was a good dose of “narrative prophylaxis”. That meant protecting yourself with stories”

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