Dismayed students at Oxford Brookes have launched a petition to save the music course, and English and creative writing staff have spoken out against redundancies.

The change.org petition titled ‘save music at Oxford Brookes University’ has accrued 941 signatures after one day of being active.

The push back comes after the university announced the forthcoming closure of its music and maths courses, with no new applicants being taken on in the next academic year.

READ MORE: Staff 'devastated and shocked' at university department closures

It also proposes to reduce numbers of salaried academic staff across several programmes, including anthropology, English and creative writing, history, film and architecture.

The petition states: “We are deeply affected by the recent decision to remove the music course from Oxford Brookes University curriculum. This decision not only impacts the music students but also threatens to diminish a vital part of our university culture.

“The music department is more than just an academic division; it is a key element of our university and home to non-music students who participate in societies and music groups.

“Its removal would mean stripping away opportunities for cultural enrichment, personal growth, and community bonding.

“We urge Oxford Brookes University’s administration not only to reconsider but also recognise the importance of maintaining diversity in the courses it offers for future generations.

“Please join us in preserving the richness of our educational experience by signing the petition.”

The petition can be found here: Petition · Save Music at Oxford Brookes University · Change.org.

After learning about the university’s plans to reduce staff across several programmes, the English and creative writing team released this statement.

“We were shocked and saddened to be told on Tuesday of the proposals to cut up to 40 per cent of the staff in English and creative writing by the end of January.

“As a dedicated team of teachers and writers we believe that the humanities are the beating heart of any university. We get to know our students so well, and they love their courses.

“When they graduate, they go out into the world as confident and creative individuals. We have brought great prestige to Oxford Brookes University as leading researchers, ranked the 6th best English and Creative Writing unit in the whole of the UK for this.

“We are involved in projects and collaborations that enrich the local community and celebrate the diversity of literature and the arts. All of that is now under threat. This is going to be a very bleak season for all of us across the university whose jobs are now at risk.”

It has also been noted that among the course staff is award-winning poet Mary Jean Chan, who is a judge for the 2023 Booker Prize.

At a meeting of the University and College Union branch at Oxford Brookes yesterday (Friday, November 17), a motion was passed unanimously bar one abstention.

“This Branch has no confidence in the financial management of the university by the vice chancellor, which is causing staff to be put at threat of compulsory redundancy."


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This story was written by Matthew Norman, he joined the team in 2022 as a Facebook community reporter.

Matthew covers Bicester and focuses on finding stories from diverse communities.

Get in touch with him by emailing: Matthew.norman@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @OxMailMattN1