Theology, religious studies at risk at UK universities, British Academy warns

May 30, 2019 by

By Michael Gryboski, Christian Post:

Theology and religious studies in British higher education is suffering a major decline, according to an educational group that specializes in humanities and social sciences.

The London-based British Academy recently released a report titled “Theology and Religious Studies Provision in U.K. Higher Education,” which found that there were approximately 6,500 fewer students enrolled in theology and religious studies courses in higher education during the 2017-2018 academic year than in 2011-2012.

“While the study and research of theology and religion remains an attractive area for many, it has seemingly fallen foul of the many challenges faced by the higher education sector, and particularly since the reforms to fees and funding in 2012: the number of students studying theology and religious studies degrees has fallen by a third,” noted the report’s Foreword.

“Fewer students means additional pressures on schools and departments to demonstrate their worth or face closure. The U.K.’s specialist theological institution, Heythrop College, founded in 1614, closed its doors in 2018 after over 400 years of teaching.”

The report also found that there was a significant gender gap and age gap when comparing theology and religious studies with other fields.

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