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Policy Sandra Booth

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.

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.

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.

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.