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Loss of degree Courses - its not only the UK
#1
Who will advocate for the next generation of heritage professionals? A cautionary tale for university preservation programs?

Losing a historic structure is a sad thing. Losing generations of folks to expertly protect cultural heritage is much, much worse.

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Quote:This past week, Louisiana?s Board of Supervisors for higher education rubber-stamped a proposal from Northwestern State University of Louisiana to eliminate the university?s bachelor?s and master?s degrees in heritage resources just as these groundbreaking interdisciplinary programs were hitting their strides. The Master of Arts in Heritage Resources (MAHR) was on track triple its number of graduates in the next year.


This is the start of a story from Voices of the Past .. (read the full story here)


I was also looking at the Britarch website.. and found this statistic.


The CBA has been monitoring continuing education since the mid 1990s, and to highlight the current situation the following table illustrates the current predicament quite clearly.

Category____________1999/00____2004/05_____2007/08____2008/09
Universities____________39________33__________31________28
Number of Courses_____1327______1124________761_______515

The CBA?s prediction is that the situation presented in this table will continue throughout 2010?11.


so we have battles on many fronts.. and all of these are important... lose one and the game is up for the others.

So can we have a bit of unity... a bit of support and a bit of activity ?
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#2
Well the Edinburgh department is in decline, and probably will cease to exist as an independent department within 5 years. The most likely situation is it being swallowed by History & Classics, and archaeology courses taken as honours options (wheels are turning in this respect, moved into the School of History & Classics from Arts, Culture and Environment; lost it's environmental archaeologist to Geosciences, and is now moving out of it's great building into a one it will share with History and Classics).
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#3
shame to hear that about edinburgh i graduated in 2003 in environmental archaeology great course. Cant say im surprised universities are commercial concerns these days and archaeology just doesnt take in enough funding or profit to make it a viable prospect but i will be sad if it loses its identity as a department.
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#4
In the interests of stopping this becoming another thread where everyone just agrees with each other....in these days of belt-tightening, shouldn't some attempt be made to bring the number of heritage-related graduates slightly more in line with the actual number of potential heritage-related jobs out there? (I'm not advocating parity, but even 5:1, with a 'wastage-rate' of 80%, ought to be plenty and would save the tax-payer mucho-millions off the education budget) :face-stir:
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#5
dinosaur, in principle yes, in practice not going to happen just not enough revenue in the heritage sector at the moment. Once development picks up then we will see a shortage of experienced staff and universities will respond so maybe in 5 years course numbers might start to rise but then again i doubt it. The main problem is the lack of career structure within the sector and relatively low salaries offered for graduates who now face a lrage investment to get a degree. Taking all that into consideration i would have probably swapped to geology at uni if i had the knowledge and experiences i have now but c'est la vie.
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#6
At the moment only a tiny percentage of people getting 'heritage sector' tertiary qualifications ever get a job in the heritage sector - just look at the number of archaeology degrees handed out every year compared to the entire number of people operating within the archaeological profession - surely there's some some scope for taking up some of the slack? If people are doing it purely as a 'hobby' interest or 'cos they think it's an easy degree maybe they should be paying for it themselves, since there's no net benefit to the country or the profession?:face-stir:
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#7
This is indeed one of the main issues where although it may be 'clear(ish) in our heads how important it all is... we fail to express that as commercial archaeologists and often (as I saw yesterday) archaeologists are seen as people who come along and just do it (for some reason not needing to be paid)

How many times have we heard the phrase... now don't get me wrong... I love the time team... but why do I have to have archaeology in my garden/houseplot/development site. Archaeology is seen as a hobby profession, with poor wages and a vocational outlook. So when looking at bottom lines, guess where archaeology turns up! I have yet to see a convincing and coherent argument that archaeology is important that does not have to stray into immeasurables about er... time team...er... our heritage... um... because ...er.. (oh and don't forget to add the 'benefit to tourism' )

I want to see hard facts... real benefits... cost analysis... things that you can hang a hard hat on. So... what is the benefit of an evaluation in real money... what does it save... what does it mean in terms of value... etc...

Then we might see courses going back up when both the buying public (clients) see a real benefit rather than a stealth tax for no real benefit. (and yes I know it is needed to get planning - but I am talking something where the client thinks... that was worth it) and then students will think.... this is a career that is worth investing in... and unis will think... I want an archaeology department to add prestige to my university.

Dream on Mr BAJR... dream on :face-huh:

So once again I agree with Dino.... I must watch myself Wink
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#8
I'll let that post past... just... as to closing the CBA... get real!

AS a person who runs a further ed course in archaeology I am quite happy that it in no way impacts on commercial.. indeed it could be seen as complementary. Training .... There are many professions such as Geology, Fishing, Conservation, Biology etc that have an amateur side as well as a professional side... neither seem to complain about it - why can't archaeology?

The bottom line is commercial archaeology has to be seen to be cost beneficial and thus a reason to study and follow a career path. - disparaging comments about sitting through evening classes and using kneeling mats is ofensive to the majority who want to be part of this... as amateurs. and of course this would not lead to IfA membership.! Membership of the CBA however and Archaeology SCotland is open to all.

Don't point at others... try and work out your own issues first. and seriously... do you want to buy a kneeling mat to protect your knees... or are you too professional for that?
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#9
Lets remember that its about Closure of University courses. :face-topic:

All deviation will be removed. start a new thread... Its my fault for not being stricter with threads... I now intend to.
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#10
A few years back, I seem to recall hearing at a Higher Education Academy (Archaeology) conference in Liverpool the figures of 800 graduates per year with only (I think) 10% (possibly 15% - excuse my vagueness) going into the business - hence the focus over the last ten years of identifying and even encouraging transferable skills (into other professions) in the archaeological curriculum.
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