Oxford Brookes University to Close Music Department/ Royal Musical Association Releases Statement

By Francisco Salazar

Oxford Brookes University has announced that it will be closing its music department.

In a letter on Nov. 16, the university said, “It is with great sadness that we inform you that Oxford Brookes University has made the decision to close its music programme. Brookes has had a music department since 1979 when it was still Oxford Polytechnic, and in the last 44 years, it has been host to a number of remarkable (or even legendary) lectures, musicians, and scholars.”

The letter added “The Current plan is to ‘Teach out’ the final three cohorts, until the curtain will come down in 2026, when teh last member of the music staff will have to leave the university.”

Since the announcement, the Royal Musical Association has released a statement noting, “Oxford Brookes University has just announced that it is closing the music programmes and department with immediate effect. Although existing students will be taught until they complete their studies, staff redundancies are being planned from as early as May. This is a devastating situation for all staff and students and will limit the opportunities for young people to study music. The closure of music at Oxford Brookes has come as a huge surprise and shock.  This is a quality department with world leading research centres that are internationally acclaimed and have industry recognition, notably OBERTO, the Opera Research Unit and Sound on Screen. The department makes an important contribution to national research excellence funding for the university.”

The statement concluded, “We are asking the Board of Governors and Vice Chancellor to give the Music department more time to propose new programmes that respond to our current times. They want the 12 months it will take to complete this process; they welcome change, not closure.”