From education to employment

Students turn back to English at A-level and university

As clearing continues, University English, which represents all university English departments in the UK, hailed signs that applications to study the subject at degree level are rising. The news follows a decline in popularity in recent years to study English at A-level and beyond.

Professor Robert Eaglestone, spokesman for University English (and Professor of Contemporary Literature and Thought at Royal Holloway, University of London), said:

“After years of decline in popularity, it was incredibly heartening to see an increase in young people studying English at A-level last week. Early signs are that applications to study the subject at university are also rising.

“We still have a lot to do though or we risk failing our growing creative sector and denying students access to the literary and linguistic heritage of English. 

“Some degrees have received increased attention in recent years, with subjects like English being sidelined. This is despite a booming creative economy worth £84bn, and favourable levels of employability in a rapidly evolving work culture.

“In an age of great uncertainty, we need more people to use their creativity to challenge the way the world works. And with the advance of artificial intelligence, subjects like English will become increasingly important, with its focus on communication and critical analysis.

“Studying English can future-proof skills for life, work and social change, with the breadth of the subject equipping students for constantly evolving careers.”

University English was formerly The Council for College and University English (CCUE), University English was founded in 1993 to promote the study of English in higher education, and to provide opportunities for English lecturers to meet colleagues from other institutions and discuss matters of shared concern. University English is the main professional body consulted by funding bodies and other agencies when they wish to gauge the views of the English subject community.

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