Gustav Mahler and the University of Hastings

Jeremy Corbyn has received some flack for saying that classical music and the cultural events that the middle classes take for granted should be available to all. He explained his liking for the emotional music of Mahler.  The relevance of his remarks can be seen in the wraparound on this week’s Hastings Observer.The local college that wants to take over and run some university courses currently taking place at our university campus advertised its success rates for A level and vocational courses with its slogan “Be who you want to be”. All well and good if you want to be a personal trainer as depicted in the advert but what if you want to study social sciences, say, or history and achieve a degree in a Humanities or Social Sciences subject?

The University of Brighton has de facto declared that such subjects are not for the likes of working class people in Hastings who should know their place and stick solely to vocational courses. If the plans to close down the campus and transfer just a select few courses to the local  FE college go ahead it will mean depriving locals of the opportunities to study at a university and be taught by university lecturers who, as part of their jobs, are obliged to research, write and publish in their specialist area – and disseminate their results. In other words to demonstrate to their students that they too can aim high and achieve in an academic area – if this is their choice.

Well taught higher education courses in a wide range of subjects should be accessible to all – as should Mahler!

(Incidentally you can hear many examples of Mahler’s wonderful music for free as part of the BBC Proms season – all concerts are  free to listen to on BBC iplayer radio 3)