Media courses cull inevitable if funding cuts get thumbs up

November 14, 2003

A cull of media studies courses is inevitable if funding chiefs persist with plans to cut funding for teaching, a conference will hear this weekend.

Members of the Association of Media Practice Educators, who will meet on Saturday at Sunderland University, have condemned the Higher Education Funding Council for England's proposals, which would fund all types of media courses at the lowest level.

Last week, The THES reported that the Media, Communications and Cultural Studies Association had written to Hefce chief executive Sir Howard Newby expressing its "bewilderment and alarm" over the "extremely disturbing" plans.

This week, Ian Macdonald, head of Leeds Metropolitan University's Northern Film School and chair of AMPE, said that he expected the association to call on Hefce to rethink its plans.

He said: "Our fear is that those involved at the high-cost end - most of media-practice education - will lose out. Some courses will go from (funding) band B to band D. That's an impossible situation and it will result in some media practice courses closing."

Mr Macdonald also said AMPE was forging closer links with MeCCSA, and a merger between the two organisations might be possible in the future.

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