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Micah Harbon

Why Not Fund This? A Final Goldsmiths Class, Before the Fees

by Ben Street on July 17, 2012
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There’s no better barometer for the state of higher education than undergraduate arts degrees, the traditional first-against-the-wall of government spending cuts. Goldsmiths has this year seen a 23% drop in applications after implementing the highest-possible undergraduate tuition fee of £9000 per year. This follows a 20% cut in spending on university arts programmes, in favour of what the UK government calls, disingenuously, “priority subjects.”

While the institution holds its breath for funding, its BA graduating show—the last before the fees come into effect this autumn—embodies, in conceptual rigour and discreet politics, an argument for the value of arts education that’s no less potent for having been lost.

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