UK Class in Classics Report 2024

The UK Class in Classics Report (2024) is here. It is based on the UK Class in Classics Survey which we ran from late 2022 to early 2023. This had a total of 1,206 respondents and revealed class disparities across student and staff bodies. We have now analysed the data and the results are here for you all to read, discuss, engage with, hopefully act upon.

The report reveals that class disparities heighten as we progress along the academic career path, showing a leaky pipeline in which working-class classicists are squeezed out of the discipline. Importantly, we can see from the data that class intersects with other axes of inequality – ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability –  and indeed compounds them.

Our analysis strongly suggests that the current EDI agenda is not working, because it does not work for everyone. We urge a radical rethink of EDI practices in order to embed class alongside other axes of inequality. The picture that emerges from the experiences shared in the survey is one of a predominant managerial/professional class ethos that makes anyone else feel ‘other’ and alienates working-class classicists at every juncture. The struggle is financial, social, cultural, and structural. These are systemic injustices that cannot be allowed to continue.

The UK Class in Classics Report 2024 is, as far as we know, the first report of its kind produced in UK Higher Education and one of the first to examine the intersections between class and other characteristics in an educational context. It provides the first study of class demographics and experiences of class-based discrimination in an academic discipline. We hope it will spark other similar studies and lead to a shake-up across academia. In the report we offer a series of recommendations which we urge schools, universities, and policy makers to give serious consideration to, and implement wherever possible.

The transformations Classics needs are wide-ranging, even daunting. This report is a call for collective responsibility. If it can be a springboard for the difficult but necessary conversations needed to bring about change – cultural and institutional – it will have begun to serve its purpose. 

The report was made possible by funding from CUCD and the Classical Association. It would also not exist without the labour (paid, unpaid and underpaid) of its authors and survey respondents. Thank you, deeply, to everyone who shared their experiences with us.

Download the report.