Meeting of CUCD Standing Committee
3rd June 2000, 11 am
Institute of Classical Studies, Senate House, Malet Street, LONDON WC1E 7HU.
Apologies for absence
- Minutes of meeting on 15th January 2000
- Chair's Report
- Secretary's Report
- Treasurer's Report
- CUCD Constitution
- Web matters
- Communication of good practice
- HEFCE funding of teaching
- ICS Postgraduate Fair
- CUCD session at CA conference, April 2000
- Council meeting 2000
- Date of next meeting
Report of the Meeting of Standing Committee, 3rd June 2000
Present: Prof. R.W. Sharples (chair), Prof. D.C. Braund, Dr E.G. Clark, Mr G. Eatough, Dr J. Huskinson (representing Dr. C. Emlyn-Jones), Dr N.J. Lowe, Dr T. Morgan, Dr E.E. Pender, Mrs C.M. Roueche, Dr N.K. Rutter, Prof. M. Schofield, Dr D.G.J. Shipley.
The minutes of the meeting on 15th January 2000 were accepted.
Matters arising: Latin in Schools
The Department for Education and Employment had allocated £5 million to a project to establish on-line learning in schools in three subject areas - Latin, Japanese and Maths.
I. CUCD had responded to the Classics Benchmarking statement. Chief points: anxieties had been expressed that Classical Archaeology was in danger of falling between two stools, and that the stress on the availability of classical languages at every level of the degree might undermine programmes in institutions with relatively little language provision. Modifications were made to the benchmarking statement: the Chair himself felt that they met CUCD's concerns, and hoped that members would agree.
II. CUCD had responded to the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council's document "Research and the Knowledge Age". This drew heavily on the very full response from St. Andrews and laid stress on the UK-wide and indeed international aspects of the subject.
III. CUCD session at CA conference. See item 11 below.
The Chair also reported various representations he had made on CUCD's behalf, e.g. writing in support of colleagues in French secondary schools concerning the proposed reduction in the place of Greek and Latin in schools, and to the authorities of a member institution on behalf of the classical programme in that institution.
An inclusive CUCD mailing list had been created from the previous Secretary's mailing list and the Chair's email list. However, new procedures for disseminating information, making greater use of the website, would be proposed to Council (see item 5 below). Council 1999 minutes and a report of the January 2000 Standing Committee had been sent to all named contacts (c. 75) in member institutions. Reports of Standing Committee meetings would now be posted regularly on the CUCD web- page.
It was confirmed that Standing Committee members could reclaim reasonable travel costs for attendance at meetings.
The treasurer presented the accounts for the past year showing that the main items of expenditure had been: travel expenses; donation to the Co-ordinating Committee for Classics; administrative costs; and the costs of the Bulletin.
The Chair presented a detailed discussion document, including the original draft of the constitution (dated 8/10/1969) and issues arising from it and from recent discussions on CUCD's role. Various recommendations for changes emerged which would be presented at Council in November 2000.
In terms of CUCD's current arrangements, the following matters were clarified:
(i) It is a matter for individual institutions to determine who they will send as a representative to the annual Council meeting.
(ii) Each institution has at Council one* vote only, which is exercised by the representative on that day. (*except that Oxford and Cambridge have two; constituent institutions of the University of Wales are treated as separate institutions, as are the Institute of Classical Studies and the three main colleges of the University of London teaching Classical Subjects.)
(iii) Standing Committee members attending Council when someone else is the representative of their institution are not able to vote.
Current arrangements for communications with departments and for seeking nominations to Standing Committee were considered and it was agreed that, in the interests of greater transparency, this year for the first time nominations to Standing Committee would be sought via a mailing to all contacts. Although nominations could come from any individual in a member institution, for practical purposes, the nominations would have to be made to CUCD through the Head of Department (or other principal contact).
It will be proposed to the November Council meeting that in future formal CUCD communications be sent via a postal mailing only to Heads of Department and other principal contacts, while the same communications be simultaneously made available to all interested parties through the CUCD website. With the aim of further ensuring that information reaches as many people as possible, it is suggested that:
a) a message highlighting the availability of new CUCD documents on the website be posted to the "Classicists List" (managed at Liverpool); and
b) information on how to subscribe to the Classicists List be given on the CUCD website.
TM would follow the pattern of last year's Bulletin. Suggested topics for articles included the newly-formed Subject Centre for History, Classics and Archaeology and how departments are using the British Schools of Archaeology at Athens, Rome and Ankara.
G. Shipley reported that the Register of External Examiners was now up and running on the CUCD website and N. Lowe confirmed that the Report of the January Standing Committee was also now available on the website.
The new Subject Centre for History, Classics and Archaeology was now established, with the centre for Classical studies at the Open University under the direction of Dr Lorna Hardwick. Dr Dominic Montserrat had been appointed as the Centre's classical languages specialist and a 0.5 administrative appointment is still to be made. Since three members of Standing Committee (RWS, CR and EEP) would be members of the Advisory Panel, close liaison between CUCD and the new centre could be assured.
8.2. It was recommended that individual departments should draw the QAA's attention wherever possible to how much unfunded activity in disseminating good practice in learning and teaching is already going on in Classics at both local and national levels.
The placing of Classics in the banding system of HEFCE's New Funding Method for Teaching was discussed. The Chair would makefurther enquiries about future prospects for the banding system and wouldreport to the next Standing Committee.
The organisers of the Fair had written to CUCD to ask its advice about the future of the event. The meeting discussed an alternative arrangement whereby information could be provided on Postgraduate study via the CUCD website. A page could be created with information on research in Classics, funding opportunities and on taught MA courses. A list of MA titles could be co-ordinated with a link to each post-graduate prospectus and to departmental sites on postgraduate study. The matter would be reviewed at the next Standing Committee.
The session was attended by 18 people. The discussion was productive and points that emerged included these:
The annual meeting of Council would be held on 11 November 2000.
In the context of greater awareness of the need to widen access and changes in the profiles of students applying for classical degrees, CUCD would seek from UCAS figures on:
- In practice, PGCE students currently need Latin A level as a qualification in order to gain employment, regardless of the Latin they may have done in their degree course. It was suggested that Classical departments should consider some form of external validation of the language aspects of their degrees, much in the way in which many degrees in fields other than the Humanities are approved by professional bodies.
- In considering their language provision Classical departments need to bear in mind the interests of different groups of students, e.g. prospective teachers and also prospective researchers. The new Learning and Teaching Support Network Centre for Classics at Milton Keynes can play a major part in developing discussion of language provision.
i) national rates of application over the range of classical subjects in the last 5 years;
ii) the proportion of applications to classical departments from state, independent sector, international and mature students. This information would help to build up a national picture of applications to Classical degrees. It was also agreed that CUCD should consult member departments on the issue of application numbers and how best to promote Classics to prospective students.