WelTec/Whitireia music closure a warning sign for creative arts.
Sept. 20, 2022
Te Hautū Kahurangi | Tertiary Education Union is calling on the government and the TEC to heed the warning signs as WelTec/Whitireia proposes to bring the curtain down on 31 years of applied music provision in the Wellington region. TEU says the proposal spotlights a funding model that could decimate creative arts across Aotearoa.
TEU’s Kaiwhakahaere | Organiser at WelTec/Whitireia, Drew Mayhem, says “music is a subject that’s always going to be resource intensive, but it’s also vital to the health of a society. Yet Te Amorangi Mātauranga Matua | The Tertiary Education Commission’s funding model is built around a ‘bums on seats’ approach that has never been appropriate for creative arts, where smaller class sizes are a must.”
“Music programmes at places like WelTec/Whitireia are where students go to learn practical skills for a career in music that they can’t necessarily get at a local university. The courses on the chopping block here produce people with technical and professional skills to make it in the music industry. It’s also a really important cultural identity space for students from diverse backgrounds.”
“It would be a tragedy to see great artists go undiscovered because there’s nowhere in their region to equip them with the skills to be successful. But even more than that, we need to stand up for the people who train our future musicians, painters, sculptors, photographers, dancers and film makers – who are all under threat from a system that only values what accountants can measure.”
Consultation on Weltec/Whitireia’s proposal to close all music programmes closes on 30 September.