Wera Hobhouse, MP for Bath, has this week written to Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson voicing her concerns about his recent statements announcing that the teaching grant would be withdrawn from “C1” or creative subjects. Bath’s MP wrote the letter after speaking with representatives from Bath Spa University.
Wera Hobhouse also raised the issue with the Leader of the House, Jacob Rees-Mogg, during Business Questions on Thursday 28th January. She asked if the Leader of the House would make time to debate the “enormous value of creative subjects and their role in rebuilding our economy when recovering after the corona crisis”. In response, Rees-Mogg acknowledged the value of Bath Spa University but failed to answer the Bath MP's question.
The full list of C1 subjects that Ms. Hobhouse is advocating for includes archaeology; design and creative arts; information technology, systems sciences and computer software engineering; media studies; and pre-registration courses in nursing.
Wera Hobhouse said:
“These subjects are vital to our economy and our wellbeing. The Government is undervaluing degree subjects for which there are strong prospects for job growth, at the very time we need a robust and comprehensive plan for recovery from the coronavirus crisis. Their position is unhelpful and misleading.”
“Before the pandemic, the creative industries contributed £111.7bn to the UK economy - more than the automotive, aerospace, life sciences, and oil and gas industries combined. Jobs in the creative industries were growing at three times the UK average and were on target to create an additional 1 million jobs by 2030.
“The Government’s proposed way forward is both short-sighted and unfair. It would make it more expensive for students to pursue courses in these hugely valuable subjects. Far from widening participation, this would make it even harder for those from less advantaged backgrounds to pursue higher education in these fields.”
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