Media study is 'flawed'

April 10, 1998

A STUDY which claimed there were about 32,000 full-time students on media courses is flawed, according to Cary Bazalgette, education officer at the British Film Institute, writes Kam Patel.

The 1996 study by Skillset, the industry-backed national training organisation for broadcast, film, video and multimedia, identified 400 higher education courses with media as a "major component".

Ms Bazalgette said the study counted courses in electrical engineering, graphic design, hairdressing and a host of others as "main subject media" if they mentioned film or television in their course descriptions. The study also described as "media related", courses which the researchers felt were almost certain at some point to relate to film and television. The study "established an expansionist myth that has become hard to discredit. This is despite evidence from bodies like the Higher Education Statistics Agency which claims a total population of media students of merely 8,000," she said.

Kate O'Connor of Skillset said Ms Bazalgette's criticism "is disappointing not just because it is based on a misunderstanding of the original research but more fundamentally because it ignores the policy developments that have resulted from the research".

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