Bournemouth Arts University dance course closure criticised

Arts University Bournemouth students
Image caption,Arts University Bournemouth said its dance course had produced ‘invigorating and exciting performances’

The closure of a degree course in dance will affect the “entire creative community”, campaigners have said.

Arts University Bournemouth said “with great regret” it was discontinuing admissions to its BA (Hons) Dance course for the 2023-24 academic year.

More than 1,300 people have signed an online petition opposing the move.

The university said the course had produced “invigorating and exciting performances” but it faced a fall in applications and rising costs.

A statement said: “Nearly all the income the university receives is derived from student fees and they have remained static for many years.

“Our decision will allow the university to consider the potential for the development of a new contemporary arts performance provision that future-proofs the subject area and responds to current and future market demands.”

‘Deep concerns’

It said it would bring together dance professionals, arts leaders, health professionals and educators to develop ideas on how best to promote dance in the area.

The university added the three cohorts of existing students would continue to receive “high-quality education drawing on the expertise of our staff”.

The petition said future students would “miss out on the opportunity” to pursue dance at higher education in the Bournemouth area.

“This [course closure] would be to the detriment of the entire creative community within the area and is of course symptomatic of the wider diminishing of the dance and arts sectors up and down the country,” it said.

Dance organisations have also expressed “deep concerns” about the closure of undergraduate courses at Bournemouth and elsewhere.

In a joint statement, One Dance UK, DanceHE, People Dancing and Society for Dance Research said: “Without a comprehensive dance offer at higher education level… where will the next generation of dancers, choreographers, teachers, designers, administrators and dance researchers evolve from?”

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