Supresión de los Departamentos de Clásicas y otras Filologías en San Petersburgo

18 Nov 2012

Supresión de los Departamentos de Clásicas y otras Filologías en San Petersburgo

Queridos amigos: No parece que, en estos tiempos que corren, vayan muy bien las cosas para las clásicas en ningún sitio. Os reenvío la petición de apoyo contra la supresión de Departamentos de Clásicas y otras Filologías en San Petersburgo que me ha llegado de Michael von Albrecht para que, si os parece bien, la difundais y sea firmada por los colegas.
Un abrazo,
Chelo Álvarez

Firma la petición en (en ruso)

To: President of the Russian Federation Mr. Putin
Minister of Education Mr. Livanov
Rector of St Petersburg State University Professor Kropachev

At the end of September the members of the Academic Council of St Petersburg State University were informed about the drastic reduction in state-funding for students at the Faculty of Philology. They said that in the following year a certain number of departments will be either closed for applicants or will not have state-funding for students. The admission to these departments will be organized every two or three years. In 2013 they are planning to close all state-funding in the following departments: Classical Linguistics, Modern Greek, Department of Byzantine Studies, Foreign Literature Department, and a whole number of departments of Slavic Languages and Literature, and some departments of Scandinavian Studies. We do not have any information who is responsible for this decision, or if the University plans to open these departments in the future.

We are quite convinced that St Petersburg State University as well as the whole system of higher education in Russia needs to be reformed, and we don’t want to stand in the way of this process, but this irrational cut of departments and state-funding makes the situation in education even worse. The selection of “victims” is quite specific. These departments outlined above are quite popular – last year the average Unified State Exam (EGE) score to apply to these departments was really high, the number of state-funded places never exceeded 5-10. These departments are really involved in scientific research and “produce” unique experts in their respective fields. They concentrate on studies of Ancient Languages and Ancient World Cultures. It is very odd that the departments put at risk are the linguistic departments whose work is highly appreciated by the World Scientific Community. In our opinion, these departments should be the first and receive full governmental support. In fact due to these reforms St Petersburg Faculty of Philology may turn into a faculty of just ordinary language courses.

We understand that the need for the experts on Classics is not really high in our society, but you shouldn’t forget that medical schools, law schools, pedagogical as well as the linguistic departments at universities in the Russian Federation can’t survive without qualified Latin professors. If you want a qualified faculty it will require continued funding on a permanent basis. If you want to have a world famous string quartet, for example, you can’t recommend the Conservatoire to accept only 4 students every other year. The situation with the professional scholarship is exactly the same. It is necessary to take a special care of young people who have talent and who are eager to contribute to national scholarship.

School Principal and Members of the School Council St Petersburg Classical School # 610 and other signatories