A blog post and discussion over on The Little Review is raising interesting issues in relation to the current challenges faced by Irish academia and in particular the humanities and social sciences. A key challenge identified is that of changing perceptions in relation to the hours that academics actually work (6 hours a week, 6 months of the year). A wider issue is how best to link research and teaching in a university context so that undergraduate students have a greater understanding and awareness of what universities are about. More fundamentally we can ask whether theĀ  social sciences and humanities as a whole have taken on the task of demonstrating their value and relevance to society in a way that goes beyond the narrow rhetoric of Smart Economy? Are the challenges facing the different disciplines fundamentally different in this regard or is it possible to have a common voice?

Cormac Walsh

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