London, 22nd September: Higher Education in the United Kingdom is morally bankrupt, says Dr. Ulf Schmidt, a former Professor of Modern History at the University of Kent.
English historian, Ulf Schmidt, who has been working at the University of Kent for the past 25 years, is now leaving his job for a new one in Hamburg. He said, “After more than 25 years in the UK, I am leaving to take up a professorship at Hamburg University in Germany. Why am I am going back to the country of my birth? England no longer feels like home. Instead, since the Brexit vote of 2016, I have felt like a “leaver” in a waiting hall. Now I am going, and the emotional cost will take a long time to come to terms with.”
Schmidt is reportedly disappointed with the recent turn in the education system and the wave of redundancies that is snaking its way through the education sector. While the country is in the grip of a pandemic, and with no vaccine in sight, vice-chancellors have sleepless nights, over how to keep their outdated business models afloat.
The English professor said, “The problem cannot be fixed unless politicians and university leaders recognize that the commodification and commercialization of knowledge are fundamentally flawed.” He further stressed that knowledge needs to be free. ‘Education sets you free,’ was the motto of19th-century German social democrats to forge a more classless society.
Ulf Schmidt believes that the prestigious British Higher Education system is on the brink of collapse.
An article published in The Guardian quotes the professor, that the Scholars in English literature, creative writing, the arts, languages, history, and philosophy were acclaimed across the globe. But now the sector as a whole is bankrupt, not just financially, but morally. It has lost its integrity and seems unwilling to engage in critical reflection about the causes of this unprecedented malaise, according to the disappointed Professor.
Likewise, research is being massively hit in post-Brexit, post-pandemic Britain. There is good evidence that the withdrawal of more than 10,000 scholars from Britain’s universities since the referendum continues unabated.
Scotland has lost almost 2,500 academics. Countries such as Germany are beneficiaries of this mass migration of intellectual talent. Berlin, Hamburg, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Munich, Paris, Amsterdam, Vienna, and all the other major European cities know this is a historic opportunity to attract some of the best minds in the world. Now hundreds of millions of pounds will no longer be spent in Britain but in the capitals of Europe.
It is being said that higher education in Britain is diminishing. Thousands of post-docs and doctoral students will no longer flock to British universities to study but move instead to where they can find the best intellectual climate, the best infrastructure, and career prospects.
Prof Ulf Schmidt who was director of the Centre for the History of Medicine, Ethics and Medical Humanities at the University of Kent is set to take up a position as a professor of modern history at Hamburg University, later this month, and wrote, “I was awarded a €10m collaborative grant from the European Research Council to study the European “common good” with partners in Berlin, Sofia, and Budapest. The offer from a German university with a higher salary was attractive; the infrastructure and support on offer will be outstanding. So I guess my family and I will be fine”, he went on to add, “But the sense of loss has been inexplicably sad for me and for my British friends”.
You can read the full article from The Guardian here:
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