Quality Control

As anticipated, this has been a busy year for CUCD, and this year's Bulletin for the first time includes a Chairman's Report on the items that have preoccupied us most over the twelve months since Council. As well as a testimony to the energy and efficacy of our current Chair, it reflects CUCD's ever-great enmeshment qua national subject body in the issues of policy and quality we need to influence if we are to defend the things that make our field unique and uniquely resistant to easily assimilation into uniform models of academic structure and outcomes. It remains CUCD strategy here not merely to stay abreast, but where possible to outflank. Even so, the goalposts have been not merely mobile this year but positively skittish, with potentially far-reaching changes in the structures of research funding and academic assessment. We hope that a report from the Chair will help to keep colleagues up to speed with national and subject-specific developments.

In this context, the Bulletin retains an especially important role as a forum for current thinking on aims and methods of classical language teaching. Here Charlotte Roueché has recently been pressing a powerfully-argued case for a new role for Greek and Latin as the vehicles for formal language study of a kind largely vanished from the teaching of English and modern languages in schools, but increasingly essential for precisely the new disciplines that are moving towards the centre of the curriculum. We reprint here the call to arms originally published in Dialogos , and whose argument seeded a wide-ranging discussion at the CUCD panel in this year's Classical Association Conference in Lampeter where justifications for current patterns of classical language teaching were considered against the wider background of the QAA's post-Dearing agenda for the national auditing of academic standards.

Such a discussion is timely for other reasons as well, since 1998 has seen the archives ransacked as never before for an unprecedented crop of fascinating monographs on the history of classical education in the UK, most of them by the indefatigable Chris Stray. Thanks especially to his work, the history of classical teaching, its methods, and its self-definition within the changing culture of the past two centuries is now better-documented than ever. It is a particular pleasure to be able to offer here the aparchai of his recent and continuing work on the history of Classics at Oxford and Cambridge.

Finally, hostage-to-fortune time: this should, notwithstanding past promises written on water and air, be the first issue of the Bulletin to appear entire in electronic form before its base-matter edition hits street. Past issues under the present editor have also at last been rounded up, and their missing bits virtualised at our website (http://www.rhbnc.ac.uk/ Classics/CUCD/). At the same time, however, the editor is trying to tighten up his act on distribution of the print edition. If you are reading this on something that was once a tree, it means that something worked; if you're not, but you think you should be, click here now. (The editor regrets that this feature is disabled in the print edition.)

CUCD Bulletin 27 (1998)
© Council of University Classical Departments 1998

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