TIGA, the network for video games developers and digital publishers and the trade association representing the video games industry, has today called on the Government to ensure both our universities and FE colleges are properly funded following the Augar review of post-18 education.
In February 2018, the Prime Minister announced a review of Post-18 Education and Funding led by Philip Augar. The Review was partly in response to increased debate around the cost and value of higher education, removal of maintenance grants and typical student debt rising to £47,000 from a three year degree.
The independent review panel consisted of experts from across post-18 education, business and academia chaired by Philip Augar, a leading author and former non-executive director of the Department for Education. A panel conducted a six week consultation period with relevant stakeholders.
On 30 May 2019, panel published their Independent panel report to the Review of Post-18 Education and Funding. The report contained 53 recommendations on the future structure of the sector and funding proposals. Some of the recommendation include:
- the reduction of higher education tuition fees to £7,500per year
- Government to replace lost fee income by increasing teaching grant
- extending the student loan repayment period from 30 years to 40 years
- reducing the interest charged on student loans while students are studying
- capping the overall amount of repayments on student loans to 1.2 times their loan
- reducing the income threshold for student loan repayments from £25,000 to £23,000
- reintroducing maintenance grants of £3,000 for disadvantaged students
- introducing maintenance support for level 4 and 5 qualifications
- a first free full level 2 and 3 qualification for all learners
The proposals in the report call for an additional £0.3-0.6 billion in annual ongoing annual costs plus a one-off £1.0 billion on capital for further education colleges.
In response to the report, Dr Richard Wilson OBE, TIGA CEO said:
“The UK’s higher education system is a success story and many universities produce high quality graduates for our industry. In order to continue producing world class graduates, our further education system needs to be properly funded.
“If tuition fees are reduced, then it is imperative that the UK Government makes up the shortfall to ensure that universities are properly funded and continue to attract investment.
“TIGA welcomes the report’s objective to make university education more accessible. An increase in students from a variety of backgrounds increases the diversity of the UK’s talent pool. By ensuring we have graduates from a wide range of backgrounds, we can ensure that workers are coming into the video games sector with fresh and different perspectives.
“It is also critically important that FE colleges are adequately funded in order to provide more education and training opportunities and to enable the UK to address skill shortages. This report states that FE colleges have experienced a ‘steep, steady decline in funding’ with total spending on adult skills fallen by approximately 45 per cent in real terms between 2009/10 and 2017/18. We hope the Government responds to the report’s concerns about FE colleges and practical measures are proposed to correct funding shortfalls.
“We look forward to the Government’s response to the report.”