FUNDING FOR ART COURSES PLANS TO BE HALVED

The art students across the UK have shown their concern over the Government’s plan to halve the funding for the “less-prioritized” Art courses in Universities i.e. from almost £36m to £19m. Sources also suggest that this is being done to make way for apparently “more-prioritized” courses ranging from medicine to IT.

Source: University of the Arts, London

Despite the fact that the number of students entering undergraduate courses in art and design keeps rising each year with the arts and culture industry growing by £390million in a year (as of April 2019) and contributing almost £209 billion a year to the UK economy, the Government has made this decision which is considered “destructive” and “short-sighted” by university heads speaking to Design Week. UK’s plan to “Build Back Better” to support economic growth through significant investment in infrastructure, skills and innovation not only contradicts with this bold step, but also completely rules out the industry that already contributes to UK designs being exported outside. Successful UK businesses and iconic brands such as Virgin, Jaguar Land Rover, O2, Dyson and Diageo all regard design as essential to innovation and market expansion. Considering the value of the design industry in some of the largest multi-national companies, it is almost extremely sad to come across this news.

Source: University of Bristol

In order to understand what it is like to come across such news whilst being an Arts student here in the UK, I conducted a small focus group wherein Arts students from University of Westminster came forward and spoke about it. Anjali Dalal, an MA Multimedia Journalism student who runs an Instagram Page to showcase some of her phenomenal street photography series (https://www.instagram.com/anjaliidalal/) says that 50% is too much of an amount to deduct and that stealing from ART is not a good move considering the struggles of the art students and artists who are already seen commonly starting random fundraisers to complete their projects. Marie, a first year Contemporary Media Practices student (https://www.instagram.com/throughmarieslens/) feels it’s extremely wrong of the Government to make these plans and ruin people’s dreams and passions. The agitation that these art students have shown sure calls for an increasing concern over this matter.

“I already feel that I don’t get the quality of the hands-on experience I applied for, and they want to reduce the support even more.”

Anna Miram Halasz, final year BA Film Student

Thisisintern on Instagram is already taking an initiative in raising its voice by stating “This is an attack on the future of UK arts, the creative potential of the next generation, and the people who deliver our world-leading arts courses.”. They have also recently started a petition for the same: https://www.campaignforthearts.org/petitions/stop-the-50-percent-funding-cut-to-arts-subjects-in-higher-education/ and expects people to take a stand for the potential artists.

I think it’s time for the art students to come together and save a profession that has given them a chance to be who they are and embrace their livelihood. SAVE THE ART!

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