A 2009 CTP production of Smashed (Image: David Sheehy)

Monash University's legacy as a national leader in performing arts could be in jeopardy: key programs in theatre and music are set to end because of job cuts.

Last week academics at the university's Centre for Theatre and Performance (CTP) discovered it was closing -- a major blow to Melbourne's performing scene. The university will also disestablish courses in musicology and ethnomusicology.

Monash is ranked 20th in the world for performing arts, and has long been regarded as a pioneer for musicology in Australia. But as it is forced into difficult job cuts by a collapse in international student numbers and a lack of government support, that reputation could be lost.