Plus the King reconsiders number of ‘stand-in’ royals, and UK's best and worst airports
Andrea Jenkyns: “It doesn’t take magic powers to work out that this is wrong, which is why the government is committed to putting the broomstick to good use and carrying out a spring clean of low-quality courses.” (Photo: Kirsty O’Connor – PA Images via Getty Images)
An education minister has railled against a system that favours a degree in “Harry Potter studies” over more practical qualifications – even though there’s little to suggest JK Rowling’s boy wizard is crowding out other subjects.
Andrea Jenkyns, minister for skills, further and higher education, told a fringe event at the Conservative Party conference how education is not the “sole preserve” of universities.
She argued a “skilled modern economy” requires technical skills as much as it needs graduates, and criticised the “current system” for favouring degrees in “Harry Potter studies”.
To this end, the Tory frontbencher said, the government is committed to cracking down on low-quality university courses.
It’s unclear what precisely Jenkyns is referring to when she raises “Harry Potter studies”.
Twelve years ago, undergraduates at the Durham University were offered an optional 10-week module called Harry Potter and the Age of Illusion as part of a BA degree in education studies.
Some on Twitter pointed out while there was no evidence of anyone currently reading “Harry Potter studies”, thousands of students were studying a subject related to construction.
Number of students currently studying architecture, building, planning and engineering = 245,395
She says: “Conservatives cannot afford to abandon education to those who may wish to silence us.”
“The current system would rather our young people get a degree in Harry Potter studies that an apprentice
ship in construction (??)”
— Kumail Jaffer (@DailyKumail) October 3, 2022
According to Andrea Jenkyns, Higher Education Minister: “The current system would rather our young people get a degree in Harry Potter studies, than in construction.”
Fascinating – except you can’t study for a degree in ‘Harry Potter Studies’ in the UK. Perhaps she was muggled.
— Otto English (@Otto_English) October 3, 2022
Jenkyns also insisted that in some cases universities feed students “a diet of critical race theory, anti-British history and sociological Marxism” and that the government is determined to provide an alternative.
She told the Bruges Group event: “A skilled modern economy competing on the global stage requires technical skills just as much as it needs graduates.
“Yet the current system would rather our young people get a degree in Harry Potter studies than the apprentices shaping construction.
“It doesn’t take magic powers to work out that this is wrong, which is why the government is committed to putting the broomstick to good use and carrying out a spring clean of low-quality courses.”
Jenkyns insisted “if a course isn’t providing someone with a positive outcome”, it makes “no sense” the government “should be funding it”.
She added: “I’m determined to make sure that the skills we give our young people are fit for the future, in some cases they simply aren’t getting this at universities.
“They’re being fed a diet of critical race theory, anti-British history and sociological Marxism, which is why this government is determined to provide an alternative.”
Jenkyns faced a backlash last month after she gave the middle finger to a crowd outside Downing Street.
The Morley and Outwood MP claimed she was responding to a “baying mob” when she made the gesture.
She was appointed parliamentary under secretary of state in the department for education by Boris Johnson in July after he was hit by a wave of ministerial resignations, and was re-appointed by Liz Truss despite criticism after video footage emerged of her confronting the crowd outside Number 10.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.
Education Minister Who Gave Crowd Middle Finger Is Re-Appointed By Liz Truss
Backlash Over New Education Minster ‘Giving Middle Finger’ To Protesters
Minister Who Gave Crowd The Middle Finger Says She Was Reacting To ‘Baying Mob’
No 10 not committing to keeping triple lock or inflation-linked benefits rise in autumn statement on 17 November
Fall foliage cast an orange glow over roads in Scottsville and Riga, New York, this October, footage from Joseph Frascati shows.Even as the autumn leaves move past their peak, they still look vibrant throughout northwest New York.This footage was captured between October 22 and 25, at sunset and in the early morning. Credit: Joseph Frascati via Storyful
New PM doubles down on remarks at garden party about changes that moved funding towards Tory heartlands
President Xi Jinping said China and the United States must "find ways to get along" to safeguard world peace and development, state media reported Thursday, as he embarks on his precedent-breaking third term in power.
Texting while driving is considered to be one of the biggest causes of crashes on our roads, but it's even worse when the vehicle you're in is a lorry.
The broadcaster accused the US media of 'falsely portraying Britain as a racist country'.
An occasional butter board with friends is unlikely to cause any harm.
The Home Office figure amounts to some 12,000 people.
The figure has risen since early this year and costs could continue to grow, MPs were told.
George RR Martin claimed he's three quarters through The Winds of Winter"I think it's going to be a very big book. The biggest books so far were the third volume, Storm of Swords, and the fifth volume, Dance with Dragons. Those were both about 1,500 pages. This one's gonna be bigger than either of that, and I think I'm about three quarters of the way done. I'm done with some of the characters. The characters all interweave, so I've actually finished with a couple of the characters, I've got their whole story, but not others. So I have to finish all that weaving. But it's still going to take me a while."The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, CBS
Ukraine will not face a shortage of potatoes this winter despite its refusal to import from Russia and Belarus, the agriculture ministry said on Wednesday. Ukraine traditionally imports some potatoes from the two neighbouring states but it halted all supplies after the Russian invasion on Feb. 24. Belarus has been Moscow's main ally in the conflict, allowing Russian forces to use its territory to attack Ukraine.
An SNP minister has quit over her opposition to plans to make it easier for transgender people to change their sex on official documents.
‘A queen supporting a queen,’ one fan wrote
Northern Ireland faces its second election in seven months after the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) stuck to its boycott of the Stormont Assembly in protest against the Northern Ireland Protocol.
POLICE Scotland has said it has a “real concern” that it will soon be unable to carry out basic functions as budget cuts force it to shed thousands of staff.
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has delayed next Monday’s critical ‘Budget’ as he raced to thrash out the final details of his plan to restore the public finances with new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.The Chancellor updated the Cabinet on the timing of the fiscal event. The Prime Minister and the Chancellor agreed that the fiscal event would now take place on the November 17, and would be an Autumn Statement.Mr Hunt had been expected to set out his ‘Medium Term Fiscal Plan’ on October 31 in a bid to rebuild confidence in the Government’s handling of the economy, after Liz Truss’s disastrous mini-budget on September 23.
Brazil, Switzerland, Cameroon and Serbia make up Group G
Editorial: It’s the economic crisis, stupid. And neither the Tories nor Labour are prepared
Britain would have the power to regulate all cryptoassets under a proposal the UK financial services minister has added to a draft law before parliament that will almost certainly pass. Andrew Griffith, re-appointed as City Minister on Thursday by Britain's new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, put forth the amendment to the financial services and markets bill, which parliament has begun approving. The bill, as originally drafted, gives the Financial Conduct Authority powers to regulate stablecoins only, but the amendment broadens the remit to cover promotions for all cryptoassets.
The singer-songwriter has announced a string of major arena shows.