The phenomenon of 'over-education', it's a year since the launch of the Creative Industries Sector Deal, arts and culture thrive despite cuts, plus analysis of policy options for Post 18 review.
Briefing produced by Sandra Booth
Main sources: ACE, EPI, ONS, OFS, Arts Professional.

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Policy Briefing May 2019

Policy Briefing - May, 2019

ACE The Next 10 Years

Arts Council England has just published a commissioned report from CEBR to highlight the incredibly diverse and outstanding contribution that arts and culture makes to the UK economy.

A group of adults and young people celebrate surrounded by bubbles and balloons

The Report highlights how the arts and culture industry has grown by £390million in a year and now contributes £10.8billion a year to the UK economy.

The culture sector contributes £2.8billion a year to the Treasury via taxation, and generates a further £23billion a year and 363,700 jobs.

Productivity in the arts and culture industry between 2009 and 2016 was greater than that of the economy as a whole, with gross value added per worker at £62,000 for arts and culture, compared to £46,800 for the wider UK economy.

advocated to Ofsted that schools without a strong arts offer should be classified as ‘requiring improvement’ or ‘inadequate’.

ACE also issued the preliminary findings from the consultation on their next Ten Year Strategy including a plea for more diversity, representative leadership and inclusion of wider forms of culture from all communities.

Download the full report here


The Office for National Statistics (ONS) published new research into what it is calling ‘over education in the UK labour market’ suggesting that despite the longer term graduate premium, some 16% of all those in employment in 2017 were over qualified for the job they were doing, whilst 31% of graduates are overeducated for the job they have - which is a rise of 9% since 1992. Graduates in arts and humanities were “more likely” to be "under-using their education". Whatever "under-use" even means! Such a narrow view. Discuss.

Policy options

Ahead of the Augur review, the Education Policy Institute (EPI) has published a new report examining the validity and evidence on the various policy options facing the government, arguing that many of the proposals said to have been under consideration, such as reducing fees and/or interest rates, introducing 'tariff floors' etc., all tend to be regressive. The report calls instead for a more targeted approach that would support part time, mature and disadvantaged learners as well as addressing inequities between HE and FE funding and providing support to non HE routes and those taking Level 3 vocational programmes.

The Report proposes, should the government decide to reduce overall tuition fee levels, that the reduction should at least be partially offset by increasing teaching grants, with priority given to high-cost subjects.

The government should also avoid a system in which tuition fees vary by subject, specialist institution or university.

Varying fees by subject with the intention to steer students toward high labour market driven courses has been ineffective when applied in other countries, with demand remaining largely unresponsive to changes in price.


Download the full report here
Office for Students

International, Europe and Regions

Education secretary Damian Hinds may be considering removing home fee status and student loan eligibility from EU students for 2021/22. European Union students studying in the country would pay the same fees as other international students from 2021. Universities should, in principle, be able to set their own fees for EU students depending on when and how the UK does finally leave the EU and the terms of any transition period. 

A group of cross-party MPs led by former Universities Minister Jo Johnson MP have tabled an amendment to the Immigration Bill which aims to make the UK a more attractive destination for international students by preventing a cap on student numbers and introducing a two-year post study work visa scheme. UUK have long advocated for this and provided a supportive statement for the amendment announcement in the press release

Meanwhile the Office for Students published its latest Business Plan setting out the key objectives and outcomes for 2019-20 with more stringent requirements on access and participation, student protection plans and the TEF. Responses to Augar and value for money concerns are mentioned.

OFS Year 2 Business Plan can be accessed here

Creative Scotland head highlights lack of funding

Scotland’s spending on culture has fallen by almost 3% in 3 years since 2016, according to figures released by the Scottish National Party.

Acting Chief Executive of Creative Scotland Iain Munro told a Scottish Parliament inquiry into the future of arts funding in the country that it would take more than double the current levels of Government funding to take advantage of Scotland’s creative industry potential. 


Wales embraces arts in new national curriculum

The Welsh Government has launched a public consultation on the specifics of its new curriculum, which replaces a subject-based approach with six broad “areas of learning and experience”, including expressive arts. 

British Council Celebrating Arts and Culture

Lord Ashton speaking at the opening of the British Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale said “we cannot overestimate the power of art and culture to bring people together from different places around the world. Often it is our cultural links which are right at the heart of cooperation between different nations, even when we may disagree in other areas.”

And finally, just 8 days to go before
Israel host the Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday 18 May 2019.

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