I am worried about the “‘oven-ready chickens’ for business” that City of Bath College lecturer John Curry thinks the UK needs (“Cut the arts, share the pain or scrap the REF: reader panel thoughts on paying for the science ring-fence”, News, 20 June).
Curry seems ignorant of the fact that the creative sector is the fastest-growing part of the UK economy and that demand for arts entertainment is booming (strangely, it always does in a recession). Furthermore, employers have frequently been quoted as saying that they want to employ collaborative, articulate, flexible problem-solvers – people they know are more likely to emerge from music or theatre degree programmes than ones in computer studies.
Far from the notion that spending on the arts is an unaffordable luxury, we must ensure that we are preparing “oven-ready chickens” flavoured with design, literature and production as well as finance and computing.
And don’t get me started on the idea that the arts would be undamaged by their funding being turned on and off. They are not ovens, you know.
Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences
Regent’s University London