Junior music academy to split from university
Canterbury University is set to lose its junior music academy.
The Pettman Junior Academy of Music, which teaches some of Christchurch's most gifted school-age musicians, will operate as a separate entity from next year at the request of its overseas benefactors.
The academy has been operating through the university since it was created in 2005.
It has been almost entirely funded by wealthy philanthropists Barrie and Maureen Pettman, who are based in Britain.
The move to separate the academy goes against a recommendation in a report, completed earlier this year, by Professor Robert Constable, which said it should be better integrated into the university's School of Music.
Only last year the Pettmans said they would donate nearly $1 million to the academy in the next five years.
Canterbury University arts pro-vice chancellor Ed Adelson said the university was happy with the arrangement, and the two entities continued to "enjoy close and cordial relations".
Adelson said the Pettmans' decision to place the academy outside the university reflected a determination about where an organisation devoted to training primary and secondary-age children should reside.
The university was not primarily devoted to the education of school-age children and in an environment of scarce resources the School of Music needed to focus on tertiary music instruction, he said.
"There is no falling out that has either preceded this realignment or resulted from it," he said.
Adelson said the university would save in excess of $100,000 annually from the new arrangement.
The Pettman money covered scholarships, but the university paid for administration, facilities and subsidised teaching costs.
Adelson said he did not think the move would negatively effect the recruitment of students from the academy or the wider community.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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