Ministers were accused of “one of the greatest attacks on arts and entertainment in English universities in living memory” after proposals to cut funding for arts and creative subjects in higher education were approved by the higher education regulator.
When the planned cuts became known earlier this year, artists and musicians launched a campaign to combat the proposals, accusing the government of neglecting the country’s “cultural national health” by, as they called it, “catastrophic” Carried out funding cuts for arts subjects at universities.
The controversial reforms relate to a specific stream of funding aimed at costly subjects in higher education, which will result in the arts and crafts subjects being stolen from money while more being invested in other expensive subjects, including science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stamm ), Medicine and healthcare in line with government priorities.
The Public Campaign for the Arts warned that the cuts would jeopardize the viability of university arts courses, which would lead to possible closings, which in turn would damage the pipeline of talent moving from higher education to the creative industries that have a value of 111 billion of the British economy. This affects courses in the fields of music, dance, performing arts, art and design, and media studies.
As a result of the cuts, the cost-intensive subsidy for creative and artistic subjects will be halved from the next academic year. England’s university regulatory agency, the Office for Students (OfS), insisted the cut was only about 1% of the combined course fee and OfS funding, but activists said the impact, along with other cuts, would be devastating.
The OfS also confirmed that London universities would reduce their London weighting as part of the reforms. Prof. Frances Corner, director of Goldsmiths, University of London, said the changes would cost her university £ 2 million a year in losses.
“This announcement takes an ax from creative arts education and threatens to wreak havoc on London universities and their surrounding communities. As our home district of Lewisham is one of the poorest parts of England, the withdrawal of these funds looks more like a “decrease” than an “increase”. These cuts in the London weighting are a major blow to our local community trying to recover from Covid-19. “
Jo Grady, general secretary of the University and College Union (UCU), described the cuts as an “act of vandalism”. “This drastic cut in funding for creative arts is one of the biggest attacks on arts and entertainment in English universities in memory,” she said.
“This will be hugely detrimental to access and create geographic cold spots as many courses will become unprofitable – including at institutions in the capital where London weighted funding is being removed.
“The universities most at risk are those with higher numbers of less wealthy students, and it is unreasonable to deny them opportunities to study subjects such as arts, drama, and music.”
Naomi Pohl, Deputy General Secretary of the Musicians’ Union, said: “This news is frankly the last straw for our members, many of whom have survived without government support and barely any work in the past 18 months.
“Since we heard of these proposed cuts, there has been tremendous anger and disappointment among our members and the wider music community. We have to make sure that the talent pipeline does not dry up. Closing opportunities to learn music is short-sighted and at the end of the day we will all suffer. “In a letter to OfS confirming the reforms, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said,” These changes will help That grants increase Funding is geared towards a costly deployment that supports key industries and the delivery of vital public services, reflecting the priorities that have emerged in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. “
The Department of Education denied the funding changes meant the government was devaluing the art, pointing out an additional £ 10 million will be allocated to support specialized art providers. “Funding from the Strategic Priority Grant is a small percentage of total higher education sector revenue,” said a DfE spokesman.
“The reprioritization aims to channel taxpayers’ money into subjects that support the NHS, science, technology and engineering, and the specific needs of the labor market, including archeology.” [given a reprieve from the cuts] which is critical for key industries like construction and transportation. “