• Petitioned Professor Simon Franklin

This petition was delivered to:

Head of School of Arts and Humanities, University of Cambridge
Professor Simon Franklin
Chair of the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages, University of Cambridge
Professor Ian Roberts

Professor Simon Franklin, Head of School of Arts and Humanities: Save the Modern Greek degree course at Cambridge University

    1. Petition by

      Semele Assinder

      Cambridge, United Kingdom

As of October 2013, the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages will suspend the teaching of Modern Greek as a full Tripos language on financial grounds. If the proposed changes go ahead, no student will emerge from Cambridge with any more than a cursory knowledge of Modern Greek language and culture. Cambridge is one of only three universities in the United Kingdom which offer a full undergraduate degree course with a specialisation in Modern Greek.

Modern Greek is a language of the European Union, and far more than a sequel to Greece’s ancient past. The language is spoken by at least 13 million people today in Greece, Cyprus and diaspora communities in numerous parts of the world. Cambridge has represented excellence in Modern Greek Studies for 75 years; the three holders of the Lewis-Gibson Lectureship have established Cambridge as an academic centre of international renown. Greek in Cambridge produces an annual publication, possesses an active research department and offers extra-curricular language learning opportunities to undergraduates and post-graduates alike. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, the joint submission of the Modern Greek Section and the Faculty of Classics was recognised as the strongest in the UK for this unit of assessment (Classics, Ancient History, Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies). This will all cease if these changes go ahead.

Now, more than ever, Cambridge needs to be producing academics with an understanding of contemporary Greece. Modern Greek is a thriving subject at Cambridge; the Modern and Medieval Languages Faculty should reflect this in their decision.

We urge the Medieval and Modern Languages Faculty in the strongest possible terms to reconsider their projected suspension of Modern Greek as a degree subject.

Professor Simon Franklin, Head of School of Arts and Humanities, University of Cambridge
Professor Ian Roberts, Chair of the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages, University of Cambridge
Save the Modern Greek degree course at Cambridge University

[Your name]

Recent signatures


    1. Donating to the Modern Greek fund

      Semele Assinder
      Petition Organizer

      After popular request, I'm attaching a link to the Modern Greek fund from the University's fundraising page, in case anyone would like to donate to the department. Whatever you are able to give would be greatly appreciated!


    2. Reached 15,000 signatures
    3. Reached 7,500 signatures
    4. Comment from Professor Paul Cartledge

      Semele Assinder
      Petition Organizer

      It saddens me greatly, as Cambridge University's (first) A.G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture, to think that modern (post-ancient) Greek language and literature might no longer be offered here as a degree subject at the highest levels. Any university that cuts its students off from direct access to all phases of the continuous contribution of Hellenism to Western civilization and culture risks diminishing proper appreciation of our culture's essential roots.

    5. Reached 3,000 signatures
    6. Cambridge Student Newspaper picks up on the story.

      Semele Assinder
      Petition Organizer
      Student fights to save Cambridge Modern Greek department | The Cambridge Student Newspaper

      Photo - geograph.org.uk A student-led petition was launched on Monday calling for the University of Cambridge to scrap plans of suspending the Modern Greek course due to funding issues.

    7. Reached 2,500 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Lefkios Zafiriou NICOSIA, CYPRUS
      • over 1 year ago

      Είναι πολύ σημαντικό να υπάρχει έδρα Νεοελληνικών Σπουδών στο Cambridge.

    • Stratis Haviaras ATHENS, GREECE
      • over 1 year ago


    • Maria Makra Καλλιθέα, GREECE
      • over 1 year ago

      Because I am Greek and proud of my language and the cultural burden it carries!!

    • styliani (stella) tsiavou ATHENS, GREECE
      • over 1 year ago

      Greek language is the living spirit of the ancient civilisation, a trophy of humanity. The only language which present its evolution and continiouty of the past. Sciences, arts, war tactics, uper meanings, contact with the universe. SAVE THIS GREAT LANGUAGE FOR THE SAKE OF THE HUMANITY. Thank you for your efforts.

    • John Papadimitriou ATHENS, GREECE
      • over 1 year ago

      Cambridge has been a grand University all along in a leading country and should not act now like a parochial Institution of a country without tradition and influence..


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