Richard Garner: Arts and the humanities will suffer the most

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The Independent Online

The announcement of budget cuts does not solve the problem of how the Coalition Government can deliver the average student fees of £7,500 it is hoping for.

If anything, it exacerbates the situation by delivering some of the biggest cuts to the newer universities – which will then be under even greater pressure to increase their fees.

These institutions are grappling with a double-edged sword. Will they still be able to attract the same number of students if they follow their elite counterparts in opting for nearer the maximum £9,000? Sadly, there is a risk that we will not find out the answer until they reach a situation where they have to cut courses because the money is just not there.

The other area facing the most severe cuts is arts and drama, with institutions such as the Royal Academy of Music being among the biggest losers. That was always going to be the case, with funding for teaching courses being limited in future to science, maths, engineering, technology and languages.

But what it says about the future for arts and the humanities in the 21st-century higher-education world could make depressing reading for those involved in delivering these subjects.