TIGA, the trade association representing the UK games industry, today warned the Government against cutting funds for higher education. TIGA made the comments in response to plans by Lord Mandelson, the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, to cut funding for higher education by £2.5 billion, including £533 million for this year alone.
Richard Wilson, CEO of TIGA, said:
“UK higher education is a success story. In addition to a fine track record in research, the UK is second only to the USA in the market for overseas students.
“Yet UK higher education is increasingly living off past investments. The UK should be increasing expenditure on higher education rather than cutting it. The UK already spends just 1 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on higher education, whereas countries including the USA, South Korea and Canada spend between 2.5 and 2.9 per cent of GDP.
“The UK cannot hope to be a leading knowledge economy and games businesses cannot expect to obtain a ready supply of highly educated graduates unless we protect and ultimately increase expenditure on higher education. The Government certainly needs to reduce expenditure and get the public deficit back under control, but the axe should not fall on universities.””
Jason Kingsley, TIGA Chairman and CEO and Creative Director of Rebellion Studios, added:
“The UK games industry relies on a strong supply of well educated, trainable graduates in subjects such as computer science, IT, mathematics, engineering, art and animation. Many of these disciplines are relatively expensive to run. In the long run our industry will find it harder to recruit good quality staff unless the Government increases investment in higher education.””
Notes to editors:
TIGA is the trade association representing the UK’s games industry. The majority of our members are either independent games developers or in-house publisher owned developers. We also have outsourcing companies, technology businesses and universities amongst our membership.
TIGA’s vision is to make the UK the best place in the world to do games business. We focus on three sets of activities: political representation, generating media coverage and developing services that enhance the competitiveness of our members. This means that Tiga members are effectively represented in the corridors of power, their voice is heard in the media and they receive benefits that make a material difference to their businesses, including a reduction in costs and improved commercial opportunities.
Higher Ambitions can be found online at www.bis.gov.uk
For information on Lord Browne of Madingley’s review of higher education funding and student finance, see: http://nds.coi.gov.uk/clientmicrosite/content/Detail.aspx?ReleaseID=408381&NewsAreaID=2&ClientID=431
For further information, please contact: Dr Richard Wilson, Tiga CEO on: 0845 0941095; Mob: 07875 939643; or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or, Eva Field, TIGA PR Manager on: 07814 039 983, or email email@example.com.