David Willetts expresses his support for small and specialist arts institutions

The 2011 ukadia Conference was held today at Sadler’s Wells. This year’s theme was ‘Culturing Growth’ and the conference focused on the contribution of specialist arts education to the UK economy and society. Speakers included Tamara Howe, Chief Operating Officer, BBC Children’s; Ian Brinkley, Director of Socio-Economic Programmes, The Work Foundation; Steve Besley, Head of Policy, Pearson; and Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts.

In his keynote speech to the conference, David Willetts said:
"The latest UCAS figures show rising demand for university places on creative arts and design degrees.
"Prospective students know they’ll get an excellent education at art or drama school, with decent prospects once they graduate.
"The Government has made a financial commitment to supporting small and specialist institutions who face additional costs in training their students."

Professor Stuart Bartholomew, Chair of ukadia and Principal and CEO of the Arts University College at Bournemouth, commented:

“We welcome the Minister’s commitment to small and specialist higher education provision and the contribution of arts education to the UK economy and society. We are pleased that the Minister recognises the costs attached to the delivery of studio based arts subjects and we trust that this will be reflected in the new funding arrangements. At a time of significant change within the HE sector we appreciate the continuing dialogue with the Minister on the issues affecting arts institutions.”