Students from the Faroe Islands and abroad will be able to study an art degree at the University of the Faroe Islands starting in August 2019. This is the first time an art degree is available at University level in the Faroe Islands.
The degree will offer two separate educational paths: music and creative writing. It may be expanded to include more paths, such as visual art, in the future.
The degree is inspired by the University of East Anglia in England, which starting offering creative writing degrees in 1970 and has developed into one of the world’s leading creative writing universities.
Bergur Djurhuus Hansen, senior lecturer and degree coordinator at the University of the Faroe Islands, says: “Creative writing degrees at university level are common in the UK and USA. Although not as common in the Nordic countries, we have decided to give it a try in the Faroe Islands.”
The music path of the degree will focus more on composition and development of the creative handicraft and less on learning to play instruments and technical competences.
Sunleif Rasmussen, one of the country’s leading music composers, thinks the degree will raise the level of musical competence in the Faroes.
He says: “I suspect many musicians know very little about musical history. They try to copy something that they hear but do not possess the knowledge behind the music, which is needed in order to create one’s own sound. The originality is missing. I believe this degree can help the development of Faroese music.”
The art degree is designed to include one-third theoretical learning and two-thirds practical learning in workshops. The University of the Faroe Islands will also collaborate with other art universities in neighbouring Nordic countries.
Author, art critic and senior lecturer at the Glasir Tórshavn College, Kinna Poulsen, says: “It means a lot for the art community in the Faroe Islands that this degree will be offered. It is important for those interested in music and literature because it gives them a chance to study in the Faroes and not have to move abroad. It is also a signal that we, as a country, take art seriously.”
Bergur adds: “The idea is not to hold people back from studying art abroad, but we want to quality the art community in the Faroe Islands. This degree will give students a good foundation for future study abroad and it gives people the option of starting their foray into the art scene in the Faroe Islands.”
The degree, which will take two years to complete, will be open to applicants every other year, starting in August 2019. The application process opens in spring 2018. Each path will accept seven students. Anyone with a college degree (or equivalent) can apply.
Words: Levi Hanssen
Originally published on: Faroeislands.fo