Heads of art and design schools and colleges are concerned that the bill gives no indication that the government intends to establish a research council for the arts and humanities.
Such a council, recommended by the Dearing report, requires primary legislation to be set up. Elaine Thomas, chairperson of the Conference for Higher Education in Art and Design, is "extremely disappointed" that the council was not included in the bill. Professor Thomas said that although the humanities have been well served by the humanities research board of the British Academy, art and design have never had access to subject specific research funds or research studentships.
Christopher Frayling, rector of the Royal College of Art, said: "It would be very sad if the Arts and Humanities Research Council is not given the priority of other aspects of Dearing - especially at a time when the government is talking a great deal about R&D in the culture industries and its importance to the national economy."