This weekend Sarah Weir was a signatory to a letter that appeared in the Sunday Times, highlighting the suggestion by Philip Hammond to cut funding to courses outside of the STEM subjects (Science/Technology/Engineering/Mathematics).

We at the Design Council feel that if we make design less desirable in higher education, our design industries would suffer, and in turn we as a nation would suffer both economically and with regards to our position as a global leader for design.

The original letter follows:

We are deeply concerned Philip Hammond has suggested that when cutting the annual university tuition fee, the extra £1,500 annual top-up payment might only be available to students taking Stem — science technology, engineering and maths — courses.

This proposal ignores the fact creative subjects are also drivers for Britain’s creative industries, which turn over more than our automotive, life science, oil and gas and aerospace sectors combined.

While Stem graduates are widely employed in creative industries, the latter could not exist without creative talent. Deprioritising funding for creative higher education will erode a skills pipeline already at risk from Brexit.

Many creative subjects cost more to provide than the current tuition fee allows. They require dedicated technicians, equipment and space. Musicians need practice rooms, for example, and architects and industrial designers need 3D printers.

Neglecting to fund these courses at university could have dire consequences for our creative industries and therefore the British economy.

John Kampfner and Rick Haythornthwaite, Creative Industries Federation; Jeanie Scott, a-n The Artists Information Company; Jane Bryant, Artswork; Mark Pemberton, Association of British Orchestras; Simon Callow; Dominic West; Sam West; Jon Rennie, Bait Studio; David Jubb, Battersea Arts Centre; Tom Sharp, Beautiful Meme; Caroline Rush CBE, British Fashion Council; Rosy Greenlees OBE, Crafts Council; Carolyn Dailey, Creative Entrepreneurs; Andrew Clay, Creative Industries Centre Trust Ltd; Nicola Mendelsohn CBE, Creative Industries Council; Elizabeth Crump, Cultural Learning Alliance; Sarah Weir OBE, Design Council; Kasper de Graaf, Design Manchester; Deborah Longbottom, Elmwood; Martyn Roberts, Graduate Fashion Week; Jasper Parrott, HarrisonParrott, Tessa Ross CBE, House Productions; Philip Dobree, Jellyfish Pictures; Rebecca Manson Jones, Just Jones; Asha Singh, Learning through doing; Kate White, National Centre for Circus Arts; Rufus Norris and Lisa Burger, National Theatre; Hasan Bakhshi, Nesta; Ella d’Amato, notonthehighstreet.com, Andrew Hurst, One Dance UK; Richard Mantle Opera North; Mark Pyrah, Paragon Creative; Tom Weldon, Penguin Random House UK; Alan Vallance and Ben Derbyshire, Royal Institute of British Architects; Simon Fox, Simon Fox Education; Cassandra Chadderton, Society of London Theatre; Erika Clegg, Spring; Jody Orsborn, The Backscratchers; Professor Anita Taylor, The Council for Higher Education and Art and Design; Alice Black, The Design Museum; Gavin Turk and Deborah Curtis, The House of Fairy Tales; Simon Cornwell, The Ink Factory; Marcus Leaver and David Breuer, The Quarto Group;Marcus Davey OBE, The Roundhouse; Sorrel Hershberg, The Saturday Club Trust; Adam Milford, Theatre Workout; Dr Jo Twist OBE, UK Interactive Entertainment; Neil Hatton, UK Screen Alliance; Julian Bird, UK Theatre and the Society of London Theatre; Andy Payne OBE, Video games entrepreneur & investor; Nene Parsotam, VINE Creatives; Kathleen Alder, Wildkat PR; Chris Wilkinson OBE and Jim Eyre OBE, WilkinsonEyre Architects; Chris Gribble, Writers’ Centre Norwich; Mat Lazenby, York Guild of Media Arts; Kenneth Tharp CBE, FRSA, Anish Kapoor.

View a copy of the original article here.

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