Saturday, 4 December 2010

Producing the evidence for the Arts and Humanities

There's been some comment about seeing 'the evidence' of the Arts and Humanities' impact on the economy. It won't have escaped everyone's attention that myself and fourteen other A&H academics wrote to the Financial Times on 22 November 2010 to argue that 'Repeated studies have demonstrated that arts and humanities teaching has an enormous positive impact on the UK economy, giving the lie to the apparent view of Lord Browne and the government that economic “worth” and “validity” exist in technical subjects alone'.

Well, anyone who wants the evidence might like to read the following, some of which you can get on the Web, and some of which you might have to visit a library for. By the way, some of these argue that Arts and Humanities in Higher Education may have a multiplier effect on government spending (magnifying its impact on the wider economy) of up to eight times. And that teaching and research together might be Britain's fourth biggest cash export industry.

You be the judge:

British Academy, 'That Full Complement of Riches': The Contributions of the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences to the Nation's Wealth (2004).

Richard Layard, Happiness: Lessons from a New Science (2005).

I. Miles and L. Green, Hidden Innovation in the Creative Industries (2008).

Rand Corporation, Reframing the Debate About the Value of the Arts (Santa Monica, 2005).

Quite a weighty list, really.