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Music: Higher Education

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL609, tabled on 26 May 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the (1) gross amount, and (2) the amount per student, which will be paid by the Office for Students to universities for students studying music courses under the CAH25-02-02 code for (a) the 2020–21 academic year, and (b) the 2021–22 academic year, under current proposals.

Answered on

10 June 2021

The Strategic Priorities Grant, formerly referred to as the Teaching Grant, plays an important role in supporting providers and students to develop the skills and knowledge needed locally, regionally, and nationally to support the economy.

We have asked the Office for Students (OfS) to reform the Grant for 2021-22. These reforms include the reallocation of high-cost subject funding towards the provision of high-cost subjects that support the NHS and wider healthcare policy, high-cost science, technology, and engineering subjects, and subjects meeting specific labour market needs.

One of our proposals is for a 50% reduction in the rate of high-cost subject funding, which is one element of the wider Strategic Priorities Grant, for some subjects in order to enable this reprioritisation.

Under current proposals, outlined in the OfS’ consultation on recurrent funding for 2021/22, the high-cost subject funding rate for students on music courses (CAH25-02-02) will be set at £121.50 in 2021/22, down from £243 in 2020/21. This fall is equivalent to a reduction of around 1% in combined funding from a £9,250 tuition fee and OfS funding. Music students will also attract other elements of OfS funding, such as funding for student access and success, which is unrelated to the subject they study.

The OfS’ methodology for calculating funding allocations, which are done at subject price group-level rather than on an individual subject basis, means that the total amount of high-cost subject funding cannot be calculated for individual subjects such as music. However, illustrative modelling performed by the OfS on funding allocations, which accompanied their consultation, calculated that the total amount of funding for C1.2 subjects, which includes performing arts, creative arts, media studies and archaeology, decreased from £36 million in academic year 2020/21 to £19 million in academic year 2021/22. We have asked the OfS to invest an additional £10 million in our world-leading specialist providers. Many of these specialise in arts provision such as the Royal College of Music or the Royal Academy of Music which are both world-leading institutions for music education. We want to ensure that our specialist providers receive additional support, and that grant funding is used to effectively support students.