Following Worcester University’s decision to close its archaeology department, Gareth Harris examines the wider implications for the heritage sector.
Worcester University in the West Midlands, UK, has decided to close its archaeology department at the end of the next academic year (2021/22), dealing another blow to the heritage sector after Sheffield University also confirmed plans last month to shut down its archaeology faculty.
A spokeswoman for Worcester University says that “following a declining interest in studying archaeology, which has been seen UK-wide, the university has very regretfully taken the decision to close the remaining offer in this subject. Applicant numbers have been very low for several years and have now declined to the level where a course in archaeology at the university is simply unviable.”
A petition launched by the archaeologist Cat Lodge is calling for the university’s archaeology department to be saved. According to the petition, the decision was made by the university's executive board because of "limited evidence to support the view that such a course of study was likely to be viable on an ongoing basis". The petition also states that lecturers and staff have been told they are not permitted to present a case for a new degree, that they face redundancy and there is no option to appeal... Keep reading on The Art Newspaper.