FAQ’S for Students: College of Arts Change Proposal
1) What is the background to the proposal?
The College of Arts at the University of Canterbury faces a critical moment in funding
and support as a result of the recent series of earthquakes in the Christchurch
region and the consequential significant losses in student numbers. These losses
have had a significant impact on Arts, which has sustained a larger percentage of
EFTS decline than any of the other four colleges at the University. Because of an
immediate requirement to shrink its budget, the College is compelled to make some
difficult decisions about which programmes of study currently on offer should
continue to be supported.
2) What are the proposed changes?
The College of Arts released a change proposal on 26 March 2012 proposing the
disestablishment of Theatre and Film Studies, American Studies and Cultural
It is important to note that no decisions have been made at this time. The
consultation process commenced on 26 March 2012 and extends until 18 May 2012.
3) Why have these changes been proposed?
The College of Arts cannot sustain the current wide range of programmes and is
having to make some tough choices. This is not about the quality of programmes. A
brief rationale is summarized below:
i) Theatre and Film Studies (TAFS)
: The College of Arts is unable to
adequately resource TAFS’ performance and teaching related costs, including
performance facilities. Without adequate levels of resource, the College is
faced with challenges in respect to supporting TAFS. Examples include:
offering the array of courses necessary to address its educational goals, and
mitigating issues relating to course coverage during academic leave.
ii) American Studies (AMST)
: It is increasingly rare to have a stand-alone
American Studies Programme. Areas of study and research pertaining to
North America are addressed in the traditional disciplines of the College. As
the study of America embraces many disciplines, the programme is not
essential to the BA degree. There is a low level of interest from undergraduate
students in the major and only a small number of post-graduate enrolments.
iii) Cultural Studies (CULT)
: This programme is virtual, with no staff. It
produces only a small number of graduates.
4) In terms of the student body, who might these changes affect, should a
decision be made to proceed with the proposal?
No changes will be made to 2012 courses as a result of the proposal. Changes to semester two
courses, may however, occur due to normal university processes (such as low enrolment courses
or the illness of the lecturer).
At the time of releasing the proposal, the programmes had the following student
i) has 34.8 EFTS (equivalent full time students) at undergraduate and post
ii) This is 1.5% of the total EFTS in Arts this year
iii) There are 5 students enrolled in a PhD and 4 in a Masters degree
iv) In 2011 6 students graduated with a BA major in TAFS, 3 with a minor
i) has 24.8 EFTS (equivalent full time students) undergraduate and post
graduate enrolled in AMST. Note this only includes those students enrolled in
the AMST component of co-coded courses.
ii) This is 1% of the total EFTS in Arts this year.
iii) There are 3 Ph D students and 1 Masters student currently enrolled.
iv) In 2011 8 students graduated with A BA major in AMST, 6 with a minor.
i) has 14.5 EFTS enrolled in CULT.
ii) this is 0.6% of the total EFTS in Arts this year.
iii) There are currently 5 PhD students enrolled, all have supervisors in English
and LACL with 1 Masters student.
iv) In 2011 5 students graduated with a BA major in CULT and 6 with a minor
5) As a student taking one of the programmes proposed for disestablishment,
what is the potential impact on me, should a decision be made to proceed
with the proposal?
If this proposal proceeds, those students who have identified that they plan to major
or minor in either TAFS, AMST or CULT will need to be assisted to complete their BA.
Students may be able to be appropriately accommodated in other majors on a case
by case basis. Arrangements would need to be put in place to accommodate those
graduate and postgraduate students on an individual basis and in discussion with the
Procedures for addressing this issue beyond the end of the 2012 academic year will
be clarified if a decision is made to proceed with the proposal.
Additionally, for CULT students, given that most Cultural Studies papers are double-
coded, there are a number of papers that would count as equivalents for Cultural
Studies papers for existing students.
6) How can I provide feedback on the proposal?
Potentially affected students can meet with the Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Arts, to ask any
specific questions that they may have about the proposed changes and/or to discuss
written submission during the consultation period.
If you would like to have a one on one meeting with the PVC please contact the
Personal Assistant to the PVC on extension 3224 or email [email address]
to book in a suitable time. These meetings are to be
held by 5pm
on Friday 18 May 2012.
Students are also welcome to provide written feedback via email to
[email address] by 5pm on Friday 18 May 2012.
7) When will decisions be made?
The University Council will make a decision regarding the discontinuation of the
programmes following the consultation period.
8) If I have questions about how the proposed changes may affect my study
plans, who do I contact?
Please contact either:
the College of Arts Academic Manager, Liz Bond: [email address]
364 2987 extension 8996
the Faculty of Humanities/Social Sciences and Creative Arts Dean, Dr Kate van
Heugten: [email address]
or 364 2987 extension 3230