An email was sent out yesterday to the students of the School of Music & Media, regarding the business changes that are to take place over the summer.
The changes involve staff cuts, restructuring and discontinuation of certain modules and programmes, potential developments such as a Pontio Arts collaboration, summer schools and renewed strategies towards research, student engagement and recruitment.
The school’s revised business plan also describes a focus on maintaining its strong reputation in research and impact.
The final plan comes as a result of a months-longs consultation period, during which course representatives and Undeb Bangor have offered student input and feedback, which have been taken into account by the school.
Significant changes within the school
- A balance between theory and creative activity is to be retained, as creative assessment can potentially be offered within critical modules.
- Staff cuts are to be initiated in Music areas such as Ethnomusicology, Performance and Composition (2.8 FTE – Lecturer level), and in the area of Media Studies (0.5 FTE – Senior Lecturer level).
- The variety of Music modules will be considerably reduced, with still enough choice for students.
- Students will potentially be able to benefit from new opportunities provided by a collaboration with Pontio Arts.
- The creative writing branch of the school will be moved to the School of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics. Journalism and Screenwriting, however, will remain in the school.
- The MA Filmmaking course is also to be discontinued in 2020, resulting in a further cut of 0.6 FTE – Senior Lecturer level.
- A range of new programmes for 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 is considered in order to attract more students.
- A two-year accelerated Music single honours programme possibly to be available at the start of the 2020-2021 academic year.
- An MA in Creative Studies is to be explored.
- A long term potential to develop Drama as a programme is also considered, but with further development in Music Technology refused.
There has been a negative response concerning the integration of production modules into critical theory ones.
“The school is placing academia over practice when practice informs the theory,” said Hannah Grimston, Third Year Creative Studies student.
“I think that this information has been sent out at an extremely damaging time when many students are either away or finished meaning they will not read their emails, furthermore the actual information is hidden without a business proposal rather than being labelled clearly.
I think this decision is offensive to not only the hardworking staff of the school but also to the current and future students attending the university.”
Bangor University is still to remain the only in Wales to offer a music degree programme completely taught through the Welsh language.
The increase in the number of international students, along with further partnerships and growth plans are considered to be enough to prevent any further cuts to the school.
The school also hopes to maintain its strong research and teaching reputation, stating that the job cuts and redundancies are to be considered carefully.
The School of Music & Media is one of the schools that have been affected by the £5 million cut plan launched by the University in October. It comes after the institution’s decision to close the School of Chemistry, and after a previous change in leadership.