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Charter For Humanities and Social Sciences

4 February 2015

It is a cruel fact that in the last 15 years the Humanities and the Social Sciences have been severely affected by the dire need to respond to the obvious deficit in engineering, natural scientific, informational and managerial needs.  This downscaling of the importance of the human and social forms of scholarship has had a serious effect on the quality of mind of our senior graduates, in the academic enterprise itself and on the quality of our research output. The reduction of Heritage at worst to the market and at best to tourism has made for a lot of decoration but very little substance.

This has impacted on the quality of leadership in government and non-governmental institutions, in the University system and in many key social responsibility areas. At a time when we are asked to play a leading conceptual and scientific role as Africans together with other developing societies in the “south” and on our continent, and to solve our local challenges, the decline in these areas of scholarship is palpable, the depth of talent is too narrow and the nurturing of talent from disadvantaged communities a matter of exception rather than the rule – a matter of quantity rather than quality.