Tessa is a News Editor for The River and is currently studying a bachelors degree in Journalism with Human Rights at Kingston University. She has previously worked for the Newsquest Media Group, Pollstation opinion sharing network and with the social impact charity Be Enriched.
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  1. Music has a number of lecturers unable to communicate with students on the level that interests them and/or on which they understand. To be specific, these problematic lecturers are not well-versed in popular music idioms, and cannot teach essential musical concepts across genres. The kind of lecturers that students want and need are those with a highly rigorous background in traditional “classical” music, but who have also personally worked in other more contemporary popular musical traditions.

    Some of the current lecturers, who possess the requisite popular music experience lack the rigorous training needed to convey key musical concepts at the level of depth needed to educate well-rounded aspiring professionals. While those with rigorous training in classical music, know little about the way in which popular music employs many of the same techniques and materials.

    In other words, students and their lecturers need to know about classical music as well as popular music, as both employ many of the same underlying musical concepts.

    This has been the tension within the Department for the better part of 15 years or so.

  2. It is important to note that dropping student numbers was a deliberate policy of the previous Vice Chancellor Wienberg. It seems absurd therefore that the senior management team are disturbed by this and blame teaching staff!

    Despite the drop in student numbers, Kingston still has one of the worst staff student ratios, not just in the UK, but in Europe, with 1 staff member for every 19.6 students. The explicitly stated aim of the senior management team is to make that ratio worse, 1:20, through PLAN2020. How they believe that will improve the student experience is beyond comprehension.

    • Artressa Phunding

      Completely agree with your assessment, JP. I don’t disagree with Weinberg’s policy of dropping student numbers, with its intended goal of improving the quality of the student body by making it harder to gain entry, and improving the student experience by improving the staff to student ratio. The problem now is that the middle and upper administration is so bloated that it can’t sustain the lowered revenue stream. So instead of cutting administrative fat, they bash lecturers and cut their ranks. Can you imagine management cutting its own ranks? I can’t either.

  3. One accredited degree in Sec will, as a result of plan 2020 and years of refusing to replace staff who leave, have 1 qualified in-house staff member to teach the whole of 2nd and 3rd year from September. There are about 40 students per year on this accredited degree. This was made known to the senior management team and their response was that this was a good reason why we shouldn’t offer the degree in the first place. They disgust me utterly.

  4. The same degree currently has one member of staff appointed to a short contract, who has been teaching since January with no contract preared or signed and no pay.

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