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Petition Do not cut UK higher education Arts Funding

On the 21st January, Gavin Williamson announced that 50% of the funding will be cut for a range of ‘non-strategic’ subjects - including The Arts. Due this system the Arts will also loose all extra funding, meaning that higher education units may be forced to stop running Arts Courses.

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As an A-Level Drama student it infuriates me that the government are willing to compromise entire carrier paths, such as the Arts. I am an active part of my Sixth Form Arts Department and have witnessed first hand how underfunded the Arts in Secondary Education is, especially when compared to subjects like Maths or Science. This lack of support for the Arts - a profession this Government have failed during this pandemic - will be carried into Further Arts Education if this plan goes ahead.

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Government responded

This response was given on 28 May 2021

The Government is not cutting 50% of arts funding. We are reallocating some Grant funding – amounting to about 0.05% of affected providers’ estimated total income – towards NHS and STEM subjects.

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We have asked the Office for Students to reform the Strategic Priorities Grant for the 2021-22 financial year. These reforms include the reallocation of high-cost subject funding towards the provision of high-cost subjects that support the NHS and wider healthcare policy, high-cost STEM subjects, and subjects meeting specific labour market needs.

One of our proposals is for a 50% reduction in the rate of high-cost subject funding, which is one element of the wider Strategic Priorities Grant, for some subjects in order to enable this reprioritisation. This will help to correct discrepancies which have seen, for example, media studies funded at a higher rate than mathematics or history.

It is important to note that the Strategic Priorities Grant accounts for a relatively small proportion of the total income of higher education providers today. For the providers losing funding due to this reallocation, the income lost would account for approximately 0.05% of their estimated total income, based on the latest data available.

This important reprioritisation of taxpayers’ money does not mean this government is devaluing the arts or social sciences. High-quality provision in a range of subjects is critical for our workforce, our public services and is culturally enriching for our society.

That is why, as part of the same reform programme, we have asked the OfS to invest an additional £10 million in our world-leading specialist providers, many of which specialise in arts provision. We want to ensure that our specialist providers receive additional support, and that grant funding is used to effectively support students.

The Office for Students has now publicly consulted on these proposals, and responses from universities, students and others will be taken into account before any final decisions on allocations are made.

Government is not cutting 50% of arts funding. We will continue to work closely with the Office for Students so that, together, we can support students.

Department for Education

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