The Higher Education Funding Council for England's plans to downgrade all media courses to the lowest "classroom" funding category will damage the UK's film, broadcast and publishing industries as well as universities.
Alarm has been expressed from the perspective of those universities whose media courses are practice based and equipment intensive. On behalf of the industries affected, we need to add our voices.
The UK's film, television and media industries require graduates with practical, technical, creative, production and managerial skills, not simply the output of media studies and journalism degrees.
The Film Council and Skillset have completed a major review of industry needs and are planning a major initiative to promote the UK's film skills.
This requires a partnership with further and higher education providers funded to teach studio-based courses using the best equipment. We must distinguish between the costs of vitally important professional practice-oriented courses and those of the far more classroom-based media studies. If we fail in this, the creative industries - the fastest growing component of the UK economy - are in danger of a rapid slowdown.
The Rt Hon Chris Smith
Chairman, The London Institute
Chairman, National Film and Television School
CEO, UK Film Council
Deputy chairman, UK Film Council
Media chiefs alarmed by cuts