Regarding humanities

Let’s be clear from the outset – Sheffield Hallam University, one of the country’s largest, most diverse and successful universities, is committed to offering an exceptional range of courses across disciplines. The arts and humanities are a vital part of our contribution to our students, our region and the world. Currently we offer over 600…

Levelling up

One Saturday just before the pandemic we went over to Worksop to visit ‘Mr Straw’s House’. Now in the care of the National Trust, it’s an ordinary enough terraced house which, after Mr Straw died in 1932, was barely changed at all by his family. It is a time capsule of early twentieth century domestic…

Unfinished business

It’s not over. It’s particularly not over in the global south, where vaccination rates and hospitalisations continue to place enormous strain on often rudimentary public health services. It’s not over in the UK either, though here vaccination appears to have broken the link between infection and hospitalisation. It’s not over, but in many small ways,…

Getting back

The Government has announced that all legal pandemic restrictions will end on July 19. Covid is not over: as the new Health Secretary, Sajid Javid has said, as a society we are going to need to learn to live with Covid-19.  Clearly, he isn’t wrong: Covid-19 is simply the latest coronavirus in global circulation. Four…

Hot water

There’s an old, and now very hackneyed story which used to feature a lot in management training courses, about how (the example was always a frog) if a frog is in a saucepan of water which is gently heated, it simply doesn’t notice the change in temperature until it’s too late for it to react.…

Decisions

As “all the king’s horses and all the king’s men” discovered with Humpty Dumpty, it’s always difficult to put things back together.  So we should all be sympathetic to civil servants and ministers as they attempt to navigate a road map out of Covid lockdowns.  Nonetheless, the government’s announcement last week that there should be…

Free speech

In 1642, as the English civil war broke out, government control of printing presses collapsed.  In this new censorship-free environment, all sorts of ideas, previously suppressed were published.  Many senior figures became worried, and it was that worry which lay behind the pamphletAreopagitica, by John Milton – later the author of Paradise Lost.  Almost four centuries…

Lessons and skills

In 1942, at the height of the second world war, the British government published a report prepared by the economist William Beveridge. Despite its somewhat austere title – Social Insurance and Allied Services – Beveridge’s report sold vast numbers of copies, and is widely regarded as having laid the foundations for the post-War Labour government’s…

Horizons

This is an extremely challenging week. The news has been dominated by rising Covid infections rates and speculation about tightening local and national restrictions. For universities, increased numbers of reported positive cases have prompted decisions to increase the proportion of online teaching. At Sheffield Hallam, we have taken the decision to adjust the balance between…

That Was the Week That Was…

In this unprecedented year, it is quite difficult to find the right adjective for the events of the last week. The online thesaurus isn’t much help. In previous years, the bulk of the annual admissions, confirmation and clearing activity would be behind us by now: instead, we are essentially re-running elements of the process, and…