The Diploma in Contemporary Music is one of almost two dozen courses that Auckland’s Unitec Institute of Technology has announced will be suspended from 2019. Students currently enrolled will be able to complete their qualifications but Unitec will not enrol new students into the courses next year – and for the foreseeable future.
Unitec has been in financial strife for some time now and has reportedly lost 600 full-time students over recent years, down from over 10,000 EFTS to fewer than 7000, with further declines expected. Interim chief executive Merran Davis told Radio NZ that falling student numbers have left the institute needing to reduce costs by one fifth. The course stripping will affect up to 200 full-time-equivalent positions.
The decision of which courses to drop was made after looking at financial reliability, strategic relevance and educational performance. Other arts-focused courses being put on ice at Unitec include Bachelor of Arts and some parts of the Bachelor Performing & Screen Arts programme.
The Government was aware of the changes and job losses when it recently confirmed a loan of $50 million to help Unitec return to financial stability – money which will be used in part to pay for redundancies.
NZ Musician publishes an annual NZ Music Industry Training Courses Directory, the 2019 version of which is currently being collated for publication in print and online late September 2018.