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MU Expresses Horror at Proposed Halving of Funding for Music at HE in England

The Government has announced that it plans to impose a 50 percent funding cut to “high cost” subjects at higher education (HE) in England, including music. This is because music and the arts are not among its “strategic priorities”. Members are encouraged to respond to their consultation.

Photo ofChris Walters
By Chris Walters Published: 30 April 2021 | 2:17 PM Updated: 06 May 2021 | 9:43 AM
Photograph of the sun setting through the windows of an empty classroom.
The UK’s HE music provision could lose its world-leading status as a result of this cut. Photo credit: Shutterstock

The Office for Students (OfS), the independent regulator for HE in England, has opened a consultation on funding for 2021-22, closing on 6 May. The 51-page consultation document is based on a statutory guidance letter written by the Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson.

The document reads:

“The Government proposes that the courses...that are not among its strategic priorities – covering subjects in music, dance, drama and performing arts; art and design; media studies; and archaeology – are to be subject to a reduction of 50 percent.”

It adds that while the Government wants, “provision in those subject areas to continue to be widely available, we believe they are nevertheless lower priority for OfS funding than other high-cost subjects.”

The proposed funding cut will be catastrophic for music provision at HE level

The MU’s response to the proposal is that:

  • The proposed funding cut will be catastrophic for music provision at HE level, affecting our members’ work, the financial viability of music courses, and training for the next generation of musicians and music professionals
  • Music was worth £5.8 billion to the UK economy in 2019, much of which depends on properly funded HE provision
  • The notice given of this cut is far too short to enable HE institutions to plan for September
  • The UK’s HE music provision could lose its world-leading status as a result of this cut

Taking action against the cuts

The MU will file our own response to the consultation, and we are working with other industry bodies including UK Music and MusicHE to contribute to their responses.

Members are encouraged to make their own responses to the consultation by 6 May.

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Photograph of the sun setting through the windows of an empty classroom.

MU Expresses Horror at Proposed Halving of Funding for Music at HE in England

The Government has announced that it plans to impose a 50 percent funding cut to “high cost” subjects at higher education (HE) in England, including music. This is because music and the arts are not among its “strategic priorities”. Members are encouraged to respond to their consultation.

Read more about MU Expresses Horror at Proposed Halving of Funding for Music at HE in England