Government accused of ‘attack on the arts’ over ‘plan to limit student numbers’

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The government has been accused of a “short-sighted attack on the arts” over reports it is considering plans to limit the number of students in some degree courses with low pay prospects.

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Guardian Reported ministers were looking at ways to rein in debt debt, which could include new minimum A-level grade requirements to raise the bar for admission to creative arts courses and others that generate low salaries.

Martin Evans, director of the Manchester School of Art at Manchester Metropolitan University, said: “I am sick of the constant attack on the creative arts.”


He added: “The creative industries generate enormous value for the UK but the government does not or does not want to understand this”.

Professor Alain Chalas, Head of the Department of History at the University of Liverpool, said: “The value for this government is measured only in the salary earned.”

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He said: “So short-sighted.”

Meanwhile, Dr Chris Bolton, a senior lecturer in drama education at Birmingham City University, said he shared the article on Twitter “out of anger rather than surprise”.

Another academic used an angry face emoji while sharing the article on social media.

According to Guardian, The Treasury is understood to want to reduce the number of students on courses that return lower wages, meaning students are less likely to pay back student loans.

The paper said the Department of Education (DFE) is looking at ways to limit the number of subjects with low pay returns in its post-18 education review.

A source close to the government told Guardian: “They would like to control the numbers in specific disciplines. Treasury is particularly prone to negative returns in creative arts disciplines.

DFE has been contacted for comment.

Earlier this year, a university association condemned the funding cuts as “the biggest attack on art in living memory”.

The Office for Students (OFS) confirmed over the summer that it would reduce subsidies given to high-cost courses in the fields of music, performing arts and media.


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