[Petition] Save the Modern Greek degree course at Cambridge University

   
   

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Συγγραφέας [Petition] Save the Modern Greek degree course at Cambridge University
 
       
Τρι, 15 Ιαν 2013 8:03 am
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sgep
Γκουρού
Γκουρού


Feb 06, 2011
1400


To Head of School of Arts and Humanities:
Save the Modern Greek degree course at Cambridge University


    Υπογραφές για την έδρα των Νέων Ελληνικών στο Cambridge (Παν. Ιωαννίνων)

    As of October 2013, the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages will suspend the teaching of Modern Greek as a full Tripos language on financial grounds. If the proposed changes go ahead, no student will emerge from Cambridge with any more than a cursory knowledge of Modern Greek language and culture. Cambridge is one of only three universities in the United Kingdom which offer a full undergraduate degree course with a specialisation in Modern Greek.

    Cambridge has represented excellence in Modern Greek Studies for 75 years; the three holders of the Lewis-Gibson Lectureship have established Cambridge as an academic centre of international renown. Greek in Cambridge produces an annual publication, possesses an active research department and offers extra-curricular language learning opportunities to undergraduates and post-graduates alike. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, the joint submission of the Modern Greek Section and the Faculty of Classics was recognised as the strongest in the UK for this unit of assessment (Classics, Ancient History, Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies). This will all cease if these changes go ahead.

    Professor David Holton says of the petition that, although "their motivation is admirable", it must be acknowledged that "the villain of the piece is not the University of Cambridge, or the School of Arts and Humanities, or the MML Faculty, but the global financial crisis." The MML Faculty has suspended intake of new undergraduates for Modern Greek since 2009, when it became apparent that the department's funds from the original £600,000 endowment were no longer able to cover the full running costs. The decision was taken at that time, when the Faculty was forced to make severe cuts, not to replace the Lewis-Gibson lectureship after the retirement of its current holder.

    In 2009, the Faculty launched a fundraising campaign aiming to raise in between £2.2-£4 million to cover two lectureship posts, "hopeful at the time that benefactors could be found to supplement the existing modest endowment", according to Professor Holton. However, largely due to the poor economic circumstances and in Greece in particular, it was unsuccessful in obtaining enough benefactors to guarantee a secure future for the Modern Greek department. At the heart of the funding problems for Modern Greek is the small size of the course, meaning that tuition fees are not sufficient to cover the costs and leaving external funding as the only option. The number of students who choose the Modern Greek option are low at around 4-6 every year, relative to those choosing other European languages such as French (around 120 a year) or Spanish (around 80 per year).


    - PhD student fights to save Cambridge Modern Greek department (06.12.2012)


     
   
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