‘Devastating and heartbreaking’: University of Wolverhampton stops recruiting students for all performing arts courses
Tuesday, May 17, 2022
Current students will be able to complete their qualifications, but there will be no student intake in performing arts courses at the University of Wolverhampton in September.
Due to ‘decline in demand’, recruitment for all performing arts courses at the University of Wolverhampton has been suspended.
138 undergraduate and postgraduate courses will be impacted from September, including those from the School of Performing Arts (SOPA) in acting, dance, musical theatre, audio technology and digital production arts.
The University of Wolverhampton said in a statement: ‘The decline in demand nationally and regionally means that some courses are unfortunately not feasible for September 2022 recruitment because of the very small number of students that have applied, and we now need to work on what a sustainable arts offer looks like.’
Interim vice-chancellor, Professor Ian Campbell, said that the arts courses are ‘not feasible for September 2022 recruitment because of the very small numbers of students that have applied’.
He continues: ‘The reduction in student income, combined with increases in pay and non-pay costs including pension costs, alongside the impact of the pandemic, means the university is facing a very challenging financial landscape and a significant deficit in the current financial year.
Campbell has outlined a ‘robust recovery action plan’ for the University, offering impacted employees the opportunity to leave their role in return for a compensation payment.
Current students will be able to complete their current qualifications.
Wolverhampton University and College Union has labelled the decision 'devastating and heartbreaking’ in a statement on Twitter.
Raising concerns over the future of music and drama education in the West Midlands, the union added: ‘SOPA’s students are largely from the West Midlands (65 per cent) and largely first-generation university students (70 per cent). Their education in the performing arts ripples out into the local community and the wider industries, and we are so proud of them.’
It continued: ‘Courses will be immediately closed to recruitment. We have been told this is nominally for a one-year period, but this is being carried out in tandem with large scale ’mutually agreed resignation’ schemes with compulsory redundancies likely.’
Any applicants or students with queries are encouraged to contact the university on 01901323505.