Professor Dame Mary Beard said she hoped new classical scholarships for five teachers from disadvantaged areas would help spread the enthusiasm for her subject to their students.
The 67-year-old broadcaster and historian, who is a Classics Fellow at Newnham College, will retire at the end of 2022 after nearly 40 years of teaching at Cambridge University.
The classicist hailed the five full tuition scholarships that are available to UK-based teachers and other education professionals in deprived areas.
They will be able to take a one-year part-time undergraduate course remotely at the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Continuing Education, thanks to a partnership with education charity Classics For All.
Professor Beard said: ‘These scholarships are a very good idea.
“If we enable teachers to gain high-level expertise in the classics, they will pass that expertise – and the excitement that comes with it – on to their students.
“The classics are a wonderful subject for illuminating the modern and ancient world, for elevating students’ aspirations, and for giving them (and us) the intellectual tools to confront some of the most important cultural issues in the world today. .
“I am absolutely thrilled that Classics for All and the Institute for Continuing Education are collaborating to open up the value, challenge and enjoyment of classics to even more teachers and their students.”
Each scholarship, worth £2,500, is designed as a gateway to the classics for teachers in publicly funded settings including schools, public libraries, NHS facilities and prisons.
Dr James Gazzard, Director of the Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education, said: “This course is a gateway for mature students to engage, perhaps for the first time, in the classical world and the richness of its history, its literature and its art.
“Opening the door to the classics allows us to draw inspiration from his stories and his thinking to provide new insights into our complex and changing modern world.”
Classics for All program director Hilary Hodgson said: “Exciting opportunities like the classics should be available to everyone.
“The Classics for All Scholarship, in partnership with the Institute for Continuing Education, will provide an invaluable opportunity for teachers to learn more about the classical world so that they, in turn, can help elevate the aspirations of young people from all walks of life. by teaching them about the ancient world.
The undergraduate classical studies certificate course will begin in October.
Applications for the Classics for All scholarship are invited by 31 May from education professionals working in primary, secondary or disadvantaged or disadvantaged adult education in publicly funded sectors in the UK.
For course details see: https://www.ice.cam.ac.uk/course/undergraduate-certificate-classical-studies For scholarship details see: https://www.ice. cam.ac. uk/scholarships/scholarships-and-grants-available