The Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama and the University of South Wales have welcomed the publication of Lord Murphy’s independent review of conservatoire and performing arts provision in Higher Education in Wales.
Wales has a rich tradition of producing world class artists and arts practitioners. The report notes that RWCMD, as Wales’s National Conservatoire, plays a pivotal role in providing intensive education and training in the conservatoire model as part of the cultural life of Wales. It explains that USW is Wales’s largest provider of higher education in the creative and cultural industries sphere, and pays tribute to the College’s development since 2006 as a member of the University of South Wales Group. Lord Murphy advances recommendations for funding to support the characteristic teaching model of RWCMD as a world class conservatoire, and suggests options for future development of the College’s national role.
With the shared aim of maximising the College’s future potential, the Boards of USW and RWCMD will work with their executive teams to consider the recommendations of the report, in conjunction with HEFCW and the Welsh Government.
John Derrick, Chairman of the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama and a member of the USW Board of Governors, said: “The performing arts is one of the most vibrant and rapidly growing sectors in Wales, offering diverse and exciting opportunities for talented young people across Wales.
“The College’s recent selection of Professor Helena Gaunt as the new Principal and recent appointments to the RWCMD Board place all of us in a strong position to capitalise on future opportunities. The RWCMD Board looks forward to considering the opportunities outlined in this document and working with the leadership teams to consider its recommendations and opportunities. We look forward to exploring further collaboration with partners across the arts, industry, and education to deliver the right talent for future growth.”
Gareth Williams, Chair of the University of South Wales and a former Chair of the RWCMD Board, said: “Lord Murphy’s report is a significant contribution to our thinking. The Royal Welsh College has proved its ability in recent years to compete at the forefront of its international peer group. We’ve seen the national conservatoire go from strength to strength and so as the USW Group we warmly welcome the opportunity to engage with the Review so that we can have the deepest possible consideration of the best way to ensure that the Royal Welsh College can continue to grow its role in delivering highly skilled performers and practitioners to the creative and cultural industries.”
Education Secretary, Kirsty Williams said: “I am immensely grateful to Lord Murphy for having agreed to lead this review and for having produced a report which so clearly sets out how we might support and develop conservatoire provision in Wales. I welcome these recommendations. The creative industries sector is burgeoning in Wales and it is vital that those industries can continue to recruit people with the skills and expertise they need. Conservatoire and performing arts provision in higher education in Wales must be of the highest quality and it is in keeping with our wider National Mission that we should support excellence wherever it is to be found. The Welsh Government and HEFCW will continue to work closely with RWCMD, USW and others to ensure that conservatoire and related performing arts provision remains buoyant in Wales and is of the highest quality.”