The academic landscape in South Africa has changed irrevocably, bringing with it many challenges for the future. The University’s vision – to be a leading research-intensive university with international recognition for its quality and impact internationally – creates expectations and uncertainties which will require new strategies. Both innovative planning and dynamic management are needed in a time of constrained financial resources, growing student numbers, emphasis on larger research outputs and inquiry-led undergraduate teaching.
Our Department is recognised for its tradition of excellence which has made it one of the largest and most diverse music departments in the country. The time has now come to turn the page and look anew at the challenges. The Department’s vision is to remain relevant, innovative and sustainable. At the same time, music departments are especially complex because of the integrated nature of their practical and theoretical training. Some of the challenges addressed in this paper include the stabilisation of the Department’s finances, restructuring the BA (Music) degree and its decreasing enrolments, and revisiting the admission requirements of the programme to provide access to a greater diversity of students. The healthy research and creative output culture in the Department is revisited, with suggestions for more cutting-edge outputs, especially in the domain of “practice-based research”, where the process of music performance was researched in order to generate new knowledge.
The address was concluded with a short organ recital.
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