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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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At the Point of a Larger Conflict

At the Point of a Larger Conflict

(p.64) IX At the Point of a Larger Conflict
Creating the AHRC

James Herbert

British Academy

This chapter discusses the existence of support for the AHRB during its struggle for recognition and acceptance. In January 22, 2003, the White Paper on the Future of Higher Education created uproar. This furore over the White Paper was due to concerns over the government's proposal to allow universities to raise fees and to provide deferred loans by which the students might meet those charges. The uproar was also heightened by the government's declared intention to concentrate on research funding. Amidst the din over the AHRB's establishment and the government's intention of giving research funds to research councils, the AHRB found immense support from various groups. Iain Gray, Scotland's Minister For Enterprise and Lifelong Learning, expressed support for the creation of the AHRB. The same warm response to the White Paper and to the prospect of the creation of the AHRB was also expressed by the RCUK Strategy Group which emphasized the importance of arts and humanities as equal to those of engineering, science, and technology. The same response was also accorded by the House of Commons. In addition to the positive responses to the proposal of creating a humanities research council, UK government and political officials were beginning to include the White Paper recommendations into their debates. By mid-summer, widespread support for the AHRB was garnered and on January 27 2004, a second reading of the Higher Education Bill approved the creation of the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Keywords:   deferred loans, White Paper, Future of Higher Education, research funding, Iain Gray, RCUK Strategy Group, tuition fees, House of Commons

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