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MU Still Waiting for Response to Letter Urging Government to Pause Proposed HE Funding Cuts

The letter highlighted the catastrophic impact that the Government's proposed higher education funding cuts could have on music and the arts in the UK.

Published: 21 May 2021 | 2:55 PM Updated: 02 August 2023 | 12:47 PM
Photograph of an empty recital hall, there are two double basses lying on their sides and a lot of empty chairs and music stands.
The proposed cut will have a catastrophic impact on music and the arts in the UK, risking the future of our creative industries, which are worth £102bn to the UK economy. Photo credit: Stocksy

Over a week after writing to the Education Secretary about the proposed 50% cut to Government funding for music and arts subjects at higher education level, the MU is still waiting for a response.

In the letter to Gavin Williamson, MU General Secretary Horace Trubridge urges them to pause the proposed cut to Government funding.

Trubridge also calls for a meeting with the Education Secretary and representatives across arts and music sectors to discuss the effects of the proposed cut on the UK’s world leading music and creative industries.

Proposed Government funding cuts will have a catastrophic impact

“The proposed cut will have a catastrophic impact on music and the arts in the UK, risking the future of our creative industries, which are worth £102bn to the UK economy, and music, which is worth £5.8bn and supported close to 200,000 jobs in 2019,” the letter says.

Trubridge highlights the impact on students, writing “It could cause utter chaos as courses are withdrawn at the last minute, leaving students who have applied and been accepted onto courses starting in the autumn without the future they are currently working towards.”

The letter goes on to spotlight the disproportionate impact of cuts on those from less privileged backgrounds, including Black, Asian and minority ethnic students and disabled students. Too many young people are already struggling to access music lessons at school – now they will face yet another barrier to pursing music at university and as a career.

High quality music education for all

Trubridge also raises the impact on music education in primary and secondary schools, and the impact of the proposed funding cut on the Government’s own Model Music Curriculum.

“There is currently a shortage of trained music teachers to deliver this, so we must ensure that the profession is allowed to grow to meet Government aspirations,” he wrote.

A full and fair consultation is essential

Finally, the General Secretary raised concerns about the fairness of the consultation process. “I am concerned that the Office for Students’ consultation on these proposals, which closed on 6 May, included only one question on the 50 percent cut to music and arts courses among questions on many other unrelated issues, potentially causing confusion and watering down respondents’ serious concerns,” the letter says.

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Find out more about the proposed funding cuts and their impact.

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