Arts institutions suffer in university budget cuts

University of the Arts London has had its central Government funding cut by 4.7 per cent and the Royal College of Art by 3.5 per cent in the latest round of grant allocations from the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

UAL has lost more than £3m in funding, with the 2010-11 Hefce grant standing at £60.8m. The RCA’s grant is down by nearly £500 000 to £10.9m.

Meanwhile the University of Sussex has seen a 0.6 per cent cut in funding, down to £48.6m, while Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication and the University of Kent have had their grants increased by 7.1 per cent and 1.5 per cent respectively.

Hefce says it is providing a total of £7.356bn to UK universities, while £10m has been set aside for institutions that support Stem (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects. Leading figures in the industry, including, most recently, Sir James Dyson, have called for design to be included as a Stem subject.

Sir Alan Langlands, chief executive of Hefce, says, ‘About half of all institutions will receive cash increases, but others will face reductions in funding.’ He adds, ‘Managing in times of financial constraint is not easy, but we believe that universities and colleges will continue to meet the needs of students, users of research and the wider community as they have done in the past.’

David Lammy, minister for higher education, says, ‘Like everyone in the current financial climate, institutions have to do their fair share of belt tightening, but these figures do not show a university system in crisis.’

He adds, ‘We now call on all institutions to focus on delivering excellent services to students and our research base, and to manage their costs efficiently, including maintaining discipline on pay.’ 

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