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UK Music Warns Of Threat To Talent Pipeline As Second University Closes Music Department

25.03.2024: UK Music Interim Chief Executive Tom Kiehl is calling on the Government to support music education following the announcement that the University of Kent would be closing its music department. 

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25.03.2024: UK Music Interim Chief Executive Tom Kiehl is calling on the Government to support music education following the announcement that the University of Kent would be closing its music department. 

The university will be closing its music and audio technology courses as part of  cutbacks that will impact six of its departments. They say the closures are a response to “a number of financial challenges including the fixed tuition fee, rising costs and changes in student behaviour”.

This follows the announcement last year that Oxford Brookes University is closing its music department. Read UK Music’s response to the Oxford Brookes University music department closure here.

Joining other leaders in the music industry and education concerned about the University of Kent music department closure, Tom Kiehl, Interim Chief Executive of UK Music, said:

“We were saddened to hear of yet another closure to a music department – especially one at my alma mater.

“Institutions and courses like this are an important part of the talent pipeline – nurturing and supporting the next generation that the music industry in the UK relies upon to be the powerhouse that it is.

“The music industry generated £4 billion in exports and contributed £6.7 billion to the economy in 2022. This doesn’t happen without the hard work of countless tutors and numerous educational institutions.

“As we approach a General Election in the UK I hope that the government and political parties will reflect on the policy decisions and messaging that has led to universities deciding to close their musical offerings.”

In UK Music’s Manifesto for Music we called for action from the Government, including:

  1. Training and recruiting 1,000 more music teachers.
  2. To deliver on the arts pupil premium.
  3. Increase funding for Music Education Hubs.
  4. Set up a commission of the nations and regions to address inequality of opportunity in music education.
  5. Grow the number of apprenticeships and vocational qualifications in music.

Read the manifesto here

Read more about this issue on CMU.

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