ANU programs, staff to face the music
After protests against across-the-board staff cuts at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra, a new major "restructuring" has been proposed for the School of Music.
The university has two music programs. It announced one would be cut while the other would undergo significant changes, focused on "professional development" and the "portfolio career" rather than the fostering of musical abilities.
The changes include up to 32 job cuts. One-on-one tuition, important to quality musical education, will no longer be a part of the course, and students will instead receive a small allowance of $600 a semester to pay for private tuition, summer camps or other projects. The amount will pay for less than half of the private lessons they would have received under current courses.
All staff at the school will be made redundant. Staff can re-apply for a reduced number of positions that have been altered to suit new course structures.
The proposals have been met with anger from staff and students at the school of music, and a variety of actions are planned.
A petition against the proposals already has 12,000 signatures.
In coming weeks students will hold several "Protest Jams" across the ANU campus. Postgraduate students and staff, which includes many internationally acclaimed classical and jazz artists, will perform a concert to “celebrate the ANU School of Music" on May 22.