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Creating the AHRCAn Arts and Humanities Research Council for the United Kingdom in the Twenty-first Century$
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James Herbert

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780197264294

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197264294.001.0001

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(p.8) II Back on to the Agenda
Creating the AHRC

James Herbert

British Academy

This chapter discusses the reintegration of the need for Humanities Research Council back onto the public agenda and into the policy stream of the UK government. The issue of the Research Council for the humanities came into public and governmental attention when it was fastened to the dilemmas of financing higher education, which itself was tied to the uncertainty of the UK economy. In May 1996, the Secretary of State for Education and Employment together with Secretaries of State for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland appointed Chairman Ron Dearing to create a body that would inquire into the higher education system of the UK. In 1997, the committee produced a report, Higher Education in a Learning Society, or the Dearing Report. The report charted a course for higher education in the UK for the next twenty years. This so-called intellectual capital called for a higher quality of teaching and the need for researchers and research facilities. It offered 93 specific recommendations, among which was a recommendation advocating the immediate establishment of a new Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). In 1998, the government recognized the need for the establishment of a research council for humanities and announced the provision of £8M in 1998–1999 for arts and humanities research, albeit after lengthy considerations.

Keywords:   Humanities Research Council, public agenda, policy stream, public attention, governmental attention, Ron Dearing, higher education, Dearing Report, intellectual capital

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