University of Sheffield shuts down Department of Archaeology despite objections

Despite strong objections from its members of staff and students, the University of Sheffield has decided to close its Department of Archaeology following an institutional review.

Wednesday, 26th May 2021, 1:30 pm

The decision was made after a meeting by a review group that took place on Tuesday, which included independent external members who engaged with staff and student representatives.

The university said the decision is aligned with the third option, which is to retain Archaeology as a discipline but not as a department.

In a statement, a University of Sheffield spokesperson said: “The University is committed to retaining areas of strength in archaeology teaching and research at Sheffield.

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University of Sheffield shuts down its Department of Archaeology

"The University’s Executive Board is recommending that key areas of strength are aligned to other University departments, with enhanced investment for excellence. "We will continue to play a role in our local communities and honour our commitment to all current students who will receive high-quality teaching and support.”

The decision is set to spark public debate in coming days as many have called the university to invest in the department instead of shutting it down due to its immense contribution to the city and the world.

On Tuesday, a large number of people turned up at a rally in support of the department while the university was deciding on its fate.

The latest decision also means that its staff will be made redundant and ultimately prove the end of an era of a globally renowned institution.

One of the staff members, Professor Umberto Albarella said they are currently holding an emergency meeting to respond to the decision.

A petition to urge the university to keep the department also garnered over 30,000 signatures.