The Musicians’ Union has criticized plans by the UK government to cut funding for certain subjects, such as music, at higher education level in England by 50%.
The Office for Students (OfS), England’s independent higher education regulator, has opened a consultation on funding for 2021 to 2022, which ends today (6 May). The 51-page consultation document is based on plans proposed by Education Secretary Gavin Williamson.
“The government only offers courses that are not part of its strategic priorities – covering the subjects of music, dance, theater and performing arts; art and design; media studies; and archeology – be subject to a 50% reduction,” said the consultation document, adding that while the government wants “provisions in these areas to continue to be widely available, we believe they are nevertheless less of a priority for OfS funding than other high-cost topics.”
Opposing the plans, the Musicians’ Union said the cut in funding would significantly affect the work of the organization’s members, as well as the financial viability of music lessons and the training of the next generation of musicians and performers. music professionals.
Pointing out that the music industry was worth £5.8 billion to the UK economy in 2019, the organization argued that such a large reduction in music provision in higher education in the UK could see the nation “lose its status as a world leader”. A statement also argues that the notice period for this reduction is far too short for higher education institutions to plan for September, when funding losses would come into play.
The Musicians’ Union added its voice to the OfS consultation on the issue and encouraged others to add their disapproval via the FSO website.