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A number of US arts and humanities departments are fighting back against calls that the liberal arts aren’t worth funding as they don’t lead directly to jobs…

In response, several associations of universities with four-year courses are fighting back. The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) is aggressively advocating the importance of imparting “broad knowledge and transferable skills”. And the Council of Independent Colleges has established a Campaign for the Liberal Arts that will provide research and data to dispel stereotypes about the discipline.

“There is a new and heightened perception driving this trend that associations and organisations need to help the public better understand the value of the liberal arts,” said Laura Wilcox, the council’s spokeswoman.

The organisations contend that what employers really want from universities is not job training but graduates who can think critically, write and speak well, and solve problems.

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