first_imgNew College JCR is challenging its governing body’s proposal to stop offering Human Sciences.Sparked by the upcoming departure of the current Head of Human Sciences, the place of the subject within the College is being reviewed. As set out in a JCR motion, one of the reasons it might be discontinued is that, over the last six years, four Human Sciences students have received 2:2s and so, “It has not boosted our Norrington Score as much as some other subjects.”The point was raised by the JCR that ‘Norrington viability’ should not affect the diversity of subjects offered by New College. A member of the JCR also pointed out that two of the students who received 2:2s had previously rusticated on account of mental health issues.Other reasons to discontinue the subject included the fact that it would be difficult to find a qualified enough replacement and that the college is looking to reduce the overall size of the JCR.Andrew Wills, the JCR Academic Affairs rep, told Cherwell, “At the JCR meeting there were a few interesting points brought up such as the future of the course across the University if New College stopped offering it. The Norrington position was mentioned as a possible reason for College considering removing it, but I think that was more speculative rather than being based on any substantial evidence. We decided that we would let college know our opinion: that they shouldn’t cut the course (especially not for academic reasons); and that if they do decide to drop the course then we would quite like to know their reasoning for doing so. Personally, I don’t believe that the decision to bring this up now is at all influenced by the Norrington Table result; and I think that the JCR would be quite upset if it were as that isn’t at all what we as a college focus on.“I’ve spoken to some long-term members of the SCR and they strongly disagreed that the Norrington table came into it. The reasoning is more along the lines of the Human Sciences tutor is leaving, so now is the natural time to ask the question of whether college continue to offer HumSci, as a course, or not.“Apparently it’s a discussion that they have every time a tutor from a small course leaves. One of the fellows I talked to said that since we’re currently at the top of the Norrington Table there would be no need to do something as drastic as cutting courses to try and improve our position!”New College students contacted also expressed concern that the proposal may negatively affect the performance of current New College Human Scientists, as a temporary head of Human Sciences may not be the best qualified for the position.Human Sciences is a multidisciplinary course which studies the biological, social and cultural aspects of human life. It has an intake of 31 students per year across the University and New College is one of only 10 colleges to offer it as an undergraduate degree. Mark Griffith, Senior Tutor at New College, told Cherwell, “Prof. Chan, UL in Sociology and the Tutorial Fellow responsible for Human Sciences, is leaving and the College is reviewing the future of his post and the future of Human Sciences here. Governing Body will address the recommendations of its Academic Strategy Committee in 8th week. The Committee is still considering the matter.“Whatever the outcome, the College will ensure that teaching of the highest quality is provided for its existing Human Sciences undergraduates.”last_img read more