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We were delighted to welcome Professor A.C. Grayling to Roedean as part of the Sixth Form Speakers Programme last week, and he (in turn) “was delighted to have been invited to Roedean”. In a thought-provoking, eloquent speech, Professor Grayling made a passionate case for the continuing relevance of studying the humanities.
The girls were encouraged to think of their lifespan as consisting of 1,000 months, that they should be determined to “live life well”, and that they should see education as a lifelong endeavour, rather than a three-year stint at university. In facing a future in which they would encounter several careers, Professor Grayling argued that a degree in the humanities was the best preparation for the world of work, as such a degree was able to imbue its graduates with a variety of essential, transferable skills. Professor Grayling was impressed by our pupils, noting that “They are bright students who asked very good and searching questions".
Professor Grayling also shared information regarding his latest academic venture, the New College of the Humanities, in London. We learnt that contact time was a key element of the college’s offering, in that it will provide a weekly, one hour, one to one tutorial, a small group tutorial (2-4), four participative lectures in the degree subject and at least six hours of lectures and seminars in the Diploma subjects. For those wanting to study Economics, English, History, Philosophy or Law as degree disciplines, NCH can provide an exciting additional choice, as application is direct to the College and not through UCAS.
Professor Grayling’s enthusiasm for the college was palpable, and several pupils have already expressed their interest in attending one of the monthly Open Days in the near future.