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PEM – Centre for Performance-Based Electronic Music

University of Agder


PEM aspires to sustain, refine, and disseminate its experience in teaching electronic music and to make students become innovators in the coming musical world where distinctions between creation and performance disappear. This includes expanding insights from teaching electronic music into the education of performers of traditional instruments who participate in a world of musical electronics. It also entails developing educational methods that prepare future musicians for creative collaboration with artists from the world of electronic visual media.

Strengths and weaknesses:

PEM wants to initiate step change and the centre’s vision is interesting. The management structure seems thought through and senior management involvement is evident. For instance, electronic music is identified as one of the University's ‘signature studies’. The students are highly engaged in their studies and some innovative methods are used.

The limited interaction with others in the educational field internationally is a weakness in the documentation of quality in existing provision. It leaves an impression of the bid as quite inwardly focused.

Good ideas of artistic development are visible throughout the bid, but this somewhat detracts attention from actual teaching excellence and development. Furthermore, the bid is weak when it comes to including other strong, international electronical music communities as collaborative partners and advisory capacities.

Particularly in such a specialised field, international comparison should be an important feature of a bid for status as Centre for Excellence in Education. The role of students as active in the development of the centre, not just as active learners, needs more careful consideration.

Plans for evaluation and dissemination, as well as the action plan, are quite vague. Key steps to realise the vision need to be articulated more clearly as well as how the centre will monitor that it is achieving its goals.

Points to consider:

  • How does the proposal fit with national and international developments in higher education?
  • How are students involved in the development of the provision and centre plan respectively?
  • What are the key steps to be taken in order to achieve the centre goals and how will progress be monitored?

Grade: 2
Site visit: No