From Mr Samuel Frampton
Sir, — I found the article about the rise in 16-to-19-year-olds studying religious studies (News, 21 August) to be very interesting. As somebody who studied RS at A level three years ago, and after speaking to many of the students on my course, it seems to me that the interest in this course is not due to a faith or a search for a better understanding of faith, but something much more practical.
Young people have been instructed that taking such courses — religious studies, sociology, and philosophy — helps with obtaining a place at university. It is because of the ethos of those courses: they require a much more critical assessment of the theories, and an ability to debate. These are attractive qualities for universities and good skills to obtain, in terms of essay-writing and formulating arguments for a degree.
As sad as this sounds, that is my experience of the students studying on my course.
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