Dr. Stat

Dr. Stat is a Statistics Professor. This blog is his opportunity to share ideas and opinions about education (especially math education), politics, and whatever else comes up.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Math Phased out in UK

The Guardian (London) , 2/12/2005, Guardian Home Pages, Pg. 13

HEADLINE: University to shut maths department

Hull University has announced it is to close its maths department.... The university said it was phasing out its degree course because of a shortage of UK-based undergraduates and reduction in funding. Four other maths departments in England have closed since 1999 and the number of students has fallen by more than 2,200 in the same period.... more than a third are overseas students, compared with an average of 16% on other courses. The vice-chancellor, David Drewry, said that by closing the department the university was "doing our utmost to protect the interests of staff and students".... Nottingham Trent University has confirmed that it is reviewing its maths provision and the LMS said academics at several institutions, including Birmingham, Salford, Essex and the University of Wales, had expressed concern about the future of the subject.

How can this be? At a time when the importance of math as a foundation for technical and scientific progress is greater than ever, major industrialized nations are struggling just to maintain college math programs. They don't have enough students.