Humanities and social science graduates struggling – UGC

According to unofficial results of a study conducted by the University Grants Commission (UGC), graduates of state-run humanities and social science faculties are struggling to find employment.

UGC Chairman Prof. Mohan De Silva told RepublicNext this morning that only 65% of humanities and social sciences graduates have found employment. He attributed this to a lack in, among others, basic English and mathematics skills.

Asked if the UGC considered prioritising STEM and other so called employable subjects over the arts and humanities, Prof. De Silva stressed that the latter is indeed important to society, and steps will be taken to improve the quality of non-STEM education, utilising World Bank funds.

“We’ve developed what is called a Competitive Block Grant only for arts [and humanities and social science] faculties. We’re prepared to give up to a maximum of Rs. 100 million per faculty to ensure they carry out a major curriculum revision to include the other requisites that employers are expecting, such as basic English, basic mathematics and basic IT,” he said.

This, he said, will be an outcome-based restructure, that the UGC hopes will result in major changes in the way in which social sciences and the arts are taught in state universities.

Minister of Higher Education and Highways Kabir Hashim is expected to award the grants on 24 March.

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