Credit: Mariel Argüello

Jarvis Cocker criticises latest government plan to cut defund arts

Jarvis Cocker has weighed in on the new row engulfing British music. He is the latest in a string of figures from across the educational and arts sectors to give a damning indictment on the new plans.

The Pulp frontman has hit out after the Office for Students (OfS) and Education Secretary Gavin Williamson announced plans to cut funding for “high cost” subjects, i.e. arts subjects in British Universities. Institutions set to miss out include the University of the Arts London, which includes the prestigious Central Saint Martins.

Cocker has called the plans “astounding” and has said that the plans would disregard prospective students from lower socio-economic backgrounds and leave arts subjects as the realm of wealthy domestic and foreign student – a topic which has long been raging.

He told The Guardian: “I think it will really just put off people from a certain background and that’s a pity because it’s about mixing with people with different ideas, and then you get this cross pollination of stuff that makes things happen.”

Cocker’s statement came in the wake of the Musician’s Union labelling the plans “catastrophic”. When the plans were first announced they stated that the plans would affect “our members’ work, the financial viability of music courses, and training for the next generation of musicians and music professionals”.

The Musicians Union also outlined how music brought £5.8billion into the UK economy in 2019, much of which “depend(ed) on properly funded HE provision”. It then went on to criticise the notice as given “far too short to enable HE institutions to plan for September”. They finished by stating that the UK’s higher education music provision “could lose its world-leading status” as a result of such massive cuts.

The deadline for responses closed yesterday on May 6th, and the plans are set to come into force in the autumn.

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