Senate Briefing (21 November, 2000) on Proposed Merger: University of Leeds/ Bretton Hall
School of Music Academic Vision
1. Critical Mass: the School of Music at Leeds would become one of the largest and most significant providers of HE music education in the country
1999/2000 Home/EC: 146 UG plus 10 PGT plus 17 PGR; International (all levels): 11
First year of merger Home/EC: 361 UG plus 10 PGT plus 18 PGR: International (all levels): 13
Plan by 2008/9 Home/EC: 540 UG plus 27 PGT plus 40 PGR; International (all levels): 27
2. Breadth of Provision: With the introduction of new BA 3-year and BMus 4-year programmes in Popular and World Musics, the School would exploit existing and new markets for a wider range of provision, at the same time addressing key access agendas. These would run in parallel and overlap with the current BA/BMus in Western music traditions, which are being restructured to take advantage of developments within the discipline and of potential economies of scale. In addition, we are expanding our provision through both existing and new joint honours schemes. The School is already renowned for its BMus year abroad scheme and would aim to extend this to the new BMus programme. An early aim will be to establish a University of Leeds Music Summer School at Bretton both to feed our own programmes, and as a commercial activity.
3. Quality of Students: Following the successful implementation of higher admissions criteria for the current BA/BMus programmes, similar criteria have been set for the new programmes. These are significantly higher than the current criteria for Bretton music students.
4. Quality of Staff: The School will impose the same criteria for staff inherited from Bretton as for current Leeds staff in allocating staff to posts in the merged school.
5. Estates and Equipment: Work on the new School of Music building is scheduled to begin on the Clothworkers Centenary Concert Hall site on 1 June 2001, irrespective of merger. The increased numbers which merger would bring releases a further £1m into the plan, making a total of £3.4m. In a separate fund-raising initiative, the School, in conjunction with the University, is currently seeking a further £1.5m from external sources to re-furbish the CCCH itself. On the Bretton campus, a HEFCE Poor Estates Bid for £1.2m has been developed in collaboration with the Schools of Performance and Education for a multi-purpose performance venue which would have wide application for teaching activity, for the wider University community and for external users. Part of the bid also provides dedicated Music Studios. In addition a sum of £300k is set aside within the plan for a major programme of equipment renewal and replacements, including musical instruments, and electronic hardware and software.
6. Research: Over time, the merged School expects to make a series of high-profile research appointments which would secure its position at the forefront of research activity in the Music UoA. Leeds is currently rated 5, and expects to maintain this rating in RAE 2001. On the staff at Bretton, there is already a Research Professor, appointed according to the University’s own criteria, as well as several promising recent PhDs. The School intends to capitalise on the unique qualities of the site by developing a bid, in conjunction with partner institutions, for an AHRB (Arts and Humanities Research Board) Centre for Performance Studies in Music, to be located in the Mansion adjacent to the 18C Music Room. This would include an early instruments collection, an archive and research facilities for Leeds and visiting staff. AHRB funding could release up to £825k over 5 years.
7. Benefits to the wider university community: The School intends, with the agreement of the Joint Honours Centres and the schools or departments concerned, to increase numbers on "Music +" programmes by allocating new, ring-fenced MASN. We expect numbers to increase from 25 FTE to 91 FTE. Benefits would accrue to resource centres across the campus. There are currently JH programmes in music with Computer Science, Engineering, English, French, German, History, History of Art, Italian, Mathematics, Philosophy, Psychology, Physics. More broadly it is our view that a strong presence in the Performing Arts in the region has many unquantifiable benefits, especially as we enter an age where the balance between work and leisure, and between economic activity and quality of life for many people will change.