England cuts aid to arts education

On July 20, the support funding plan for the year 2020-2021 provided for a 50% reduction in additional aid for art education, for the benefit of medical and health care subjects. Unions condemn the “act of sabotage”.

Refocus on Major industries and the provision of vital public services in order to support “Government priorities that have emerged in light of the coronavirus pandemic”…here are the arguments against which the British music unions are revolting, denouncing “One of the biggest attacks on arts and entertainment on English universities in living memory”. On July 20, the British Office of Students (OfS) approved a decision to reduce subsidies for technical education, in favor of medical and health care subjects.

Since 2017, this independent regulator has distributed public funds to more than 300 higher education providers in England; An annual letter from the Ministry of Education that sets the priorities for the next year and the amount to be distributed. Last April on the occasion of the annual consultation for the 2021-2022 academic year, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson proposed halving funding from the UK Student Office dedicated to dance, theater, performing arts, arts and design and media studies. .

This reduction was proposed from 36 to 19 million pounds to redirect the funds towards it Policy areas and government priorities : Medicine and Health Care. A document published by the Bureau of Security Services in May, regarding the areas in question, specified that “The government does not consider them as strategically important as other high-cost systems.”.

The first outcry from the music associations last spring sparked strong reactions to the announcement of the adoption of this new measure. Joe Grady, Secretary General of the Union of Universities and Colleges (UCU) described this measure as“act of sabotage” ; It will affect students from minorities: black, Asian, minority ethnic, and low socioeconomic backgrounds by creating a new barrier to higher education.

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The public campaign for the arts denounces “An attack on the future of British arts, the creative possibilities of the next generation and the people who provide our leading art classes.”

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