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Will the study of archaeology soon become a thing of the past?
Not being based in the UK I'm interested in what you lot make of this assessment of the future of archaeology?

On one hand I'm thinking 'this is only a bad thing'. The more people studying and thinking about archaeology out there, the more positively predisposed the general public is towards archaeology and the better protections we can lobby for. On the other hand I'm going well it might help the problem of over-supply into the profession and scarcity might help improve pay & conditions.

Interesting article, carrrickavoy, thanks for posting.

I've been saying things like this for a while, that far far fewer people are going to try and get into commmercial archaeology once they have a debt of 50K that starts going up at commercial rates. And the real game changer of the Browne review is to make the ecology of universities totally dependent on the decisions made by 17 year olds, though I'm sure certain languages will be protected for national security reasons . But I didn't realise this:

Quote:Archaeology has traditionally recruited heavily among 'core' students (often those from poorer backgrounds), and departments around the country are being caught by this. Highly selective universities now have a relatively small 'core', and little room for manoeuvre in mitigating short-term movements in demand among high performing A-level students. The intention is to allow such universities to grow, but it also creates an incentive for them to disinvest from disciplines with weak demand among applicants with high A-level grades. There is no corresponding incentive for other universities to take up that provision. A likely outcome of this is that there will be reduction in national capacity in archaeology, and particularly in expensive archaeological science. We will all be the poorer for that.

So archaeology is more at risk becasue there are too many 'poorer' applicants with good A level grades? Thats crazy talk, these are just the kind of people who deserve the first go at university...
I'm not sure the author means that, although that extract is very confusing.

I think there is the implication that students from poorer backgrounds who have worked so hard to get to third level will choose subjects with better employment opportunities once you factor in the growing burden of debt. This will have the knock on effect that universities will 'disinvest' from disciplines not in short-term demand e.g. archaeology which will cause a downward spiral. Until of course places are so limited that the production of diggers falls and then we are in high demand and the profession becomes economically desirable again.

But in the short-term it does suggest archaeology will become an elitist pursuit :-(
Carrickavoy Wrote:Until of course places are so limited that the production of diggers falls and then we are in high demand and the profession becomes economically desirable again.
OR... entry-level archaeological training ceases to be the de facto university degree and becomes a more practical and useful vocational qualification?

It's pretty short-sighted to hail a reduction in the supply of entry-level diggers as a good thing in principle, unless every existing digger plans to never retire, die, go off & earn more money etc. It'd take a few years for wages to creep up due to a lack of labour supply. By which time commercial archaeology could be in such a hole with not being able to meet the demand for developer-led work, that the government probably would have legislated archaeology out of the planning process as unworkable.
Most people only dig for a few years in their twenties in any case, Kel, before leaving in their late 20s or early 30s. All the stats that I've ever seen show this.
Quote:It'd take a few years for wages to creep up due to a lack of labour supply.
If that happened, former diggers might come back into the profession. I think a reduction in supply of labour is a good thing in principle, as it would push up demand for that labour and therefore wages/conditions.
Time to start the debate now.

Skill - training - and supply.

remuneration that meets the skill
Kel Wrote:...unless every existing digger plans to never retire....

How good's your pension scheme? I'm planning on being removed from site in a body-bag, and not before :face-approve:
That's a depressing thought Dino. I have two pension plans, neither of which are worth the paper they're written on. Hooray for those "reliable" local government pensions (turns out it wasn't an Equitable Life after all) and "stable" multinationals (which wink out of existence at the drop of a hat). Cruddy/non-existent pension deals aren't limited to archaeology - retirement wasn't an option even *before* I started!
Sorry to hear it Kel and but you are probably also paying a considerable amount for those who already got their pensions gold plated and watched while you tried to get ahead.

Michael Braddick is professor and pro-vice-chancellor for the faculty of arts and humanities at the University of Sheffield. Is he really saying that sheffild are up the duff. Seems that sheffireld has got a pro and a vice and a chancellor for a faculty, thats quite a hierarchy produce unemployed diggers ....wonder what his non contributary final salary pension is.
Reason: your past is my past
Smoke and mirrors, completely unsupported assumptions and you know what they say about assumptions, something about an ass and you me, I believe. The higher fees had absolutely no impact on the number of archaeology students in the UK. Wrote up brief look at the number here-

there is even a graph for those of use that like pretty pictures. Smile

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