Image Showing: The Clock House: Home to Music and Music Technology on campus.

On Wednesday, the Keele University senate passed a paper concerning the future of the Music and Music Technology after months of uncertainty about the future of the department.

The new plans have surfaced after the University announced in November that all Music and Music Technology degree programmes as they were “No longer sustainable at Keele.”

Since the original announcement to close the department, over 6,000 people signed a petition set up by Music and Music Technology staff. As well, a separate campaign run by students at Keele University called “Save Keele Music” was created to highlight the concerns that students had regarding the universities decision to close the department.

Since then, on Monday Keele students voted in favour of a motion for the Keele SU to extend public support to the “Save Keele Music” campaign at the Union General Meeting.

 The New Plans

The new plans mean that there will be no further intake of combined honours Music programmes with a “teach-out period to support current students through to graduation”. Current applicants and foundation year students will instead be encouraged to take up the offer of a single or combined honours Music Technology programme in September 2021.

Further in 2022, Music Technology will also be replaced with a new single Honours BSc degree and combined honours programme in Music and Sound Engineering.

In a joint statement from The Keele SU officers and KPA team they said, “Whilst this isn’t the continuation of the current Keele Music offering, we believe that this is a much more positive step towards reviving the subject area, as opposed to removing the subject entirely which was the original suggestion to Senate earlier this year.” and went on to say, “We want to extend a massive congratulations to the students who were involved in the “Save Keele Music” campaign”.

Image showing: Keele Student’s Union

Music and Music Technology staff issued a statement to all those who supported the petition against the original university ruling saying “The University has finally accepted our requests not to withdraw completely MMT from Keele and to allow us to develop a new provision. We asked to be listened to in earnest and to be supported so we could turn things around working together with the University’s management.”

The university also expressed their commitment to provide rehearsal and storage space for both students and society activity. As part of this commitment, there will be further discussions with students and staff about what is needed. Leroy Cohoone, SU Activities & Community Officer said, “there have been expressions that this will include combinations of Lindsay, the Clock House and other spaces as well but it is clear that there will be more options going forward for students.”

While the current degree offering within the department will end this will be seen as a victory for students and staff within the department who have fought hard over the past few months to secure the future of the department. As well, many within the local area of both Newcastle-Under-Lyme and Stoke-on-Trent have expressed their delight in the change of direction by Keele University.