The TEU’s national Day of Action in support of the humanities, arts and social sciences takes place on 22 February with events organised on campuses across the country.
Centred on a teach-in at the University of Otago, the #lovehumanities day of action will highlight the valuable contribution teachers, researchers, students and graduates of the humanities and other related disciplines make to New Zealand’s economic and social well-being.
The teach-in at Otago includes a showcase of local musicians and poets, an exhibition of the works of Michael Armstrong, a keynote lecture by TEU national president, Sandra Grey, and a public debate chaired by Nicola Gaston, an Associate Professor at the University of Auckland and author of Why science is sexist.
Further #lovehumanities events are planned at Massey University’s Manawatu and Albany campuses, the Ara Institute of Canterbury, the University of Canterbury and Unitec.
A website detailing what’s happening around the country has been launched this week. In the run up to the day the TEU will also be tweeting articles, videos and messages of support using the hashtag #lovehumanities.
Speaking ahead of the day of action, Kris Smith, TEU’s organiser in Dunedin and one of the lead planners for #lovehumanities, said
“the love humanities campaign was conceived in response to successive governments shifting the focus on STEM subjects which shift tertiary education towards the short-term benefit of the economy.
“By measuring the value of education in narrow economic terms, the government seems to think the humanities make less of a contribution to the economy than other subjects. But in actual fact the skills taught in the humanities and other related subjects, such as critical-thinking, analysis and knowledge of history are absolutely vital elements of a thriving economy and democracy. It is crucial these subjects continued to be supported and this is what the love humanities campaign is all about.”