PUPILS studying for their A-Levels should be required to take maths as well as a humanities subject and a foreign language, a report suggests. This is in order to combat a decline in humanities enrolments at university level.
Author of the Higher Education Policy Institute and English teacher at a London secondary school, Dr Gabriel Roberts stated that requiring maths as an A-Level subject would enhance humanities graduate’s numerical abilities – as well as strengthening their job prospects at the end of their education journeys.
He also believes that the number of students wanting to undertake humanities courses may rise if the subject was made compulsory.
In the report, he stated: “Requiring pupils to continue a foreign language until the end of school might stem the decline in applicants for Modern Languages courses at university and lessen the social exclusivity of Classics and Modern Languages courses at leading universities.”
Roberts also spoke of how making studying a foreign language compulsory could halt the long-term shortage of linguistic skills that is identified by employers. He described this decision as a move that would benefit students following the “loss of international links likely to result from Brexit.”
The report highlights the hurdles humanities degrees are facing and details that humanities has experienced a long-term decline in relative size in UK universities. Between 1961/62 and 2019/20, the amount of UK students studying humanities fell to 8 percent.
Dr Roberts speculated that the employment prospects of humanitarian graduates are “weaker” than in other areas. He then added that the “picture is mixed.”
He also continued by stating: “There’s a strong case for broadening post-16 education in the UK. A-levels are strikingly narrow by international standards, and the success of the International Baccalaureate and the Extended Project Qualification shows pupils can handle greater breadth than A-levels offer.
“The growing popularity of interdisciplinary degrees should also tell us something about the kind of education that many young people want. There is a strong case for change.”
Speaking of the report, Nick Hillman, who is the director of the Higher Education Policy Institute, pointed out that there are distinct challenges surrounding humanities but that the issue is “more nuanced, more interesting and more positive” than possibly perceived, when you consider teaching, course design or research.
Nick Hillman concluded: “Moreover, the lively current debates on issues like. “Brinkwire Summary News”.