It must be true, because Sir Tom Stoppard says so. At least The Register, unlike the mainstream news sources I've looked at (The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian and The Independent), all of whom seem to have merely published a press release, had the decency to (a) strike a cynical tone and (b) do some basic research. It says:
... the latest figures show 10,000+ students enrolling to study English last year, making it the seventh most popular subject - far ahead of maths, sciences or engineering. Another 7,800 enrolled to study combinations of humanities and languages, and 8,510 more for History.
All of which completely contradicts what Sir Tom said.
I've got nothing against Sir Tom -- I really like his Rosencrantz and Gildenstern Are Dead -- but I do get "exercised" when celebrities -- actors, authors, chat show hosts -- make these sort of blanket pronouncements which appear to be based on no evidence at all or, being charitable, the speaker's own experience.
Well, everyone is entitled to their point of view I suppose, but it's a great pity that all the newspapers seem to do is publish the press release as is. Thank goodness for mavericks like The Register!
See also "Is plagiarism really a problem?"