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Government confirms 50 per cent cut to arts higher education subsidies

The move was revealed back in May

A ballet dancer

Subsidies are set to be slashed for arts and humanities subjects at higher education by the current Conservative government.

Music, dance, and performing arts will all be cut, in line with our initial report published at the start of May 2021.

The Musicians' Union had reacted in "horror" at the revealed plans, which will affect, according to the strategy's initial documents, "music, dance, drama and performing arts, art and design, media studies and archaeology", with these subjects not considered to help "the NHS and wider healthcare policy, high-cost science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects and/or specific labour market needs."

What the Conservative government has classed as "strategically important" subjects including medicine and engineering will all receive additional funding from the coming academic year.

The USU (the University and College Union) confirmed that "the cuts aren't restricted to traditional university degrees either, and also target learndirect courses, which are aimed at upskilling adults in employment." They went on emphasise that: "these cuts are one of the biggest attacks on the arts and humanities in living memory...It is beyond disgraceful."

The OfS stated that the funding would make up around one per cent of a combined course fee and funding, but, given ongoing turbulence due to the pandemic, this move would still be painful and an additional burden for many institutions.

Warden of Goldsmiths, Professor Frances Corner, stated that the changes were essentially "taking an axe to creative arts education."

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