Breadth is valuable

Reflecting on Cardinal Newman’s ideas on the role of the university, my predecessor as vice-chancellor, Professor Dame Alison Richard, observed: “The dichotomy between ‘useful’ and ‘not useful’ is itself increasingly ‘not useful’.” With an anthropologist’s view of the benefits of biodiversity, she made a powerful case for its academic equivalent: “The case for breadth centres on the proposition that the greatest challenges facing the world today are of huge complexity and global scope, best tackled by people whose education enables them to integrate different fields of knowledge and work across conventional academic boundaries.”

link: Universities need Pepys as much as Newton – Telegraph