October 8, 2021 by J-Wire Newsdesk
Read on for the article
Sydney University student paper She either has reported “a leaked list of enrollment numbers for units at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) reveals that up to 250 bachelor’s and over 240 postgraduate subjects are at risk from the university’s latest draft amendment (DCP)”.
The paper states “no undergraduate units would be offered in 2022 that have historically attracted fewer than 24 students” unless necessary for student progression and completion. “
Among these units, there have historically been less than 24 students in the 28 of 29 subjects in Hebrew, biblical, and Jewish studies.
Professor Suzanne Rutland is Professor Emerita from the Department of Hebrew, Biblical and Jewish Studies, University of Sydney.
She told J-Wire:
I am deeply concerned about potential changes due to the Faculty of Science’s amendments as described in Honi It is article, ‘Up to 250 Bachelor Themes Under Threat at Sydney Uni in’ Major Attacks ” (October 6).
I have worked for the last 30 years to build our department, from 1990 with Hebrew and Jewish studies teacher education, and subsequently, from 1997, Department of Hebrew, Biblical and Jewish Studies after my employment as a university lecturer, and replaced the late emeritus Professor Alan Crown .
Under Professor Crown, the department had developed four majors in modern Hebrew, classical Hebrew, Bible studies, and Jewish civilization. The modern Hebrew program started with the support of the late Stefan and Felicia Einhorn.
Thanks to a major grant from Felicia Einhorn to the Foundation for Higher Jewish Education (the Foundation) following her death in 2000 as well as annual support from the Roth Foundation and other major donors, we have been able to sustain these major ones.
About four years ago, due to pressure on student numbers, the major subjects in classical Hebrew and Bible studies were combined, but this made academic sense, as knowledge of biblical Hebrew is important if a student has a major in Bible studies.
Now, as noted, in She either Article, ‘The DCP outlines that no bachelor’s units would be offered in 2022 that have historically attracted fewer than 24 students “unless necessary for student progression and completion.” ‘
Although the figures quoted in the article are inaccurate, as many of our units are necessary for students to complete their subjects, a decision like this will still have a very serious impact on our department.
The reason for community funding of three of the five full-time educators is our understanding that society needs to support the small numbers on Hebrew, classical Hebrew, and Jewish civilization.
These classes are essential to developing local Jewish studies and Hebrew teachers and ensuring a high-quality program for Hebrew and Jewish studies in our daily schools. We are in fact the only department offering three majors in the English-speaking southern hemisphere.
The proposal also proposes to move Bible studies out of the department, which would ruin the combined Bible studies / classical Hebrew major. And the proposal to streamline Honors programs that affect our graduate programs (already partially decimated due to student issues) is also problematic.
The restriction of electives taken from other departments will also have a detrimental effect.
The University should take advantage of this consultation period to reconsider these potentially harmful decisions for our department. I would hate to see the work of my life undermined by a stroke of the pen.