The Office for Students is the independent regulator for higher education in England. Their aim is to ensure that every student, whatever their background, has a fulfilling experience of higher education that enriches their lives and careers.
Following guidance attached to the OfS grant for 2021/22 from the Department for Education, a consultation on the funding they distribute (called the ‘recurrent grant’) was launched on the 26th March 2021 and closes on the 6th May 2021 (no time is given on that day so we assume up until midnight on the 6th will be accepted).
Details about the consultation can be found here, with this document as the key one to read and to find out what the changes are and the questions being asked in the consultation. To feed into the consultation itself the link is here.
The concerns being raised within the arts sector relate to a recommendation from government that priority should be given to ‘strategically important’ subjects. Whilst OfS accept that the creative and performing arts subjects are important they state that ‘when funding is significantly constrained, we believe it is right that the grant for these subjects is reduced in order to prioritise other subjects’ (pg19). The cut being prosed by government is 50% (pg6, with more detail Pg17-Pg19). An additional recommendation which will be of concern to universities and other higher education establishments in London is the ‘withdrawal of weightings that support additional costs in London’. It should be noted that this consultation is taking place now to discuss funding for the 2021/22 academic year – ie from August 2021!
Anyone can contribute to the consultation as an individual or provide an official response on behalf of a higher education provider, organization or representative group.
Music Mark will be providing an official response by close of play on 6th May.