Despite the value and interest of what they do, archaeology departments up and down the country are now facing difficulty. The reason? Undergraduate demand has fallen, and there is no other way for them to pay their bills.
This situation reflects a key principle of the Browne review: that investment in higher education should be driven by student demand, informed by information about the price and quality of courses. Archaeological science is expensive, and does not attract research funding driven by the search for economic growth. Student numbers are low, nationally, and although student satisfaction measures and price put it on a par with history and English, archaeology departments cannot attract students in the same numbers, and are finding it hard to cover their costs.
Story: Michael Braddick, The Guardian | Photo: Darren Staples/Reuters