A petition has been launched to save the Performing Arts course at Highlands College, after it was cancelled for the second time in three years due to insufficient student numbers.
The cancellation has received backlash from islanders concerned about the lack of study opportunities for performing arts subjects in Jersey.
The Level 3 Performing Arts course at Highlands College was cancelled ahead of its September 2023 start date following low student demand.
The two-year course, which is equivalent to an A Level, offered students the chance to learn a range of performance skills including acting for stage and screen, stage combat, singing, dance and stage craft.
The course only received eight applications for the 2023-24 academic year and, upon further investigation, Highlands College determined that only a maximum of four students would actually be undertaking the course.
As a result, the College took the decision to cancel the course for the next academic year. Prospective students were informed on the 20 April 2023.
Pictured: The course offered students the chance to learn a variety of performance skills.
Jo Terry-Marchant, Principal of Highlands College, said that the decision was made "reluctantly".
"Performing Arts is reliant on a collaborative learning experience and with four students you cannot meet the learning aims of the qualification: students need solo and group performance and to take on challenging texts; this is not possible with such small numbers," she explained.
"By supporting the course, we would essentially be setting the students up to fail."
All applicants affected by the decision were offered one-to-one guidance to help them find alternative next steps.
A petition to save the course was launched last week, and has so far garnered more than 300 signatures.
Comments on the petition cite concerns about the lack of opportunities for students to study performing arts on-island.
Pictured: The Performing Arts course was also cancelled in the 2021-22 academic year due to insufficient numbers.
One islander commented on the petition: "This leaves students with very few options to study performing arts on a small island if they don’t want to leave for the UK."
Schools on the island - including Hautlieu, Victoria College and JCG - offer other qualifications in the performing arts field, but only alongside other subjects.
This is the second time the Performing Arts course at Highlands College has been cancelled – the course also did not run in the 2021-22 academic year due to insufficient numbers.
The current performing arts cohort has only eight students enrolled, of which just seven will move on to their second year of study.
Earlier this month, Highlands College also announced the cancellation of the BA (Hons) in Business and Management degree, again due to a lack of demand. While the College could not specify the exact number of applicants for this degree, they said it was less than five.
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