Many members of MusicNet West is currently involved in institutional fusion processes. Others are more passive, but we all observe what takes place wondering what it will mean for music staff.  As from Jan. 1st. 2017 the existing Stord/Haugesund University College, Bergen University College and Sogn and fjordane University College will merge into one institution, Høgskolen på Vestlandet (West Norway University of Applied Sciences). The new institution will be the largest one in higher education in West Norway consisting of 16000 students and five different campuses, Sogndal, Førde, Kronstad Bergen, Stord og Haugesund. Another important fusion brings the Academy of Art and Design under the umbrella of University of Bergen. Together with the Grieg Academy, institute of music they will form a new faculty at the university called Faculty of Art, Music and Design.

It is too early to say what this will mean for music in higher education, But the agreements underpinning the merging underline the importance of maintaining a distributed higher education system and strengthen the activity on all campuses. Surely, living in the middle of the fjords of western Norway is not only exotic in terms of scenery, but also exiting in terms of new possibilities, new colleagues as well as some uncertainty.