Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Egyptology suffering in Israel


Israel currently has a great many professors of law and business administration, but very few professors of Egyptology. The few students who want to learn about hieroglyphics or the history of Pharaonic Egypt are often forced to make do with the single lecturer, at most, who specializes in this field at each university.

Because of the lack of students and faculty positions, Egyptology, Assyriology, classics and African studies are on the verge of disappearing from the world of academia here.

This week, the nation's universities announced a new initiative aimed at enabling "unpopular" fields of study to continue to exist in an era of budget cuts: four joint programs in which students will take classes from lecturers at several different universities.

Thus an Egyptology student would spend one semester, or one day a week, at Tel Aviv university, and the next he would go to Haifa University or the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The four programs are in ancient Near East languages and culture, Africa studies, Latin in the Middle Ages, and Jewish culture in the ancient world.

See the above page for the full story.

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