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ERIC Number: EJ1054027
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0729-4360
The Bachelor of Arts: Slipping into the Twilight or Facing a New Dawn?
Gannaway, Deanne
Higher Education Research and Development, v34 n2 p298-310 2015
Undergraduate students have historically engaged with the humanities and social sciences through the Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree programme. Recent experiences suggest that the relevance and the value of the degree to the modern world is now being challenged: populist press questions the value of the humanities to the modern knowledge economy; public funding for teaching in the social sciences and humanities in higher education has been slashed in the UK and elsewhere; humanities and social sciences schools and departments in the USA, New Zealand and Canada rationalised and restructured; BA programmes in some Australian universities closed. All seems to suggest that the sun is setting on the BA. This paper argues that, in Australia at least, these actions have been made on the basis of a flawed understanding of contemporary BA programmes. It asserts that the contemporary BA is a very different creature to that of even the recent past. The paper offers a new definition of the contemporary Australian BA degree programme developed as a result of a comparative historical analysis research study across 39 Australian institutions. It extends an argument that perhaps the time is right for a re-examination of what is meant by "BA"--before we declare the degree a relic of the past.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A