From education to employment

Funding boost puts performing arts and degree apprenticeships in the limelight

people stood in a line cheering with their arm in the air

The Office for Students (OfS) is awarding £9.6 million in funding to improve teaching and access to performing arts courses at specialist higher education providers across England. 

The OfS has also announced £16 million of recurrent funding to expand the development and delivery of other higher education qualifications. This consists of £8 million to support the development of Level 6 degree apprenticeship training programmes and £8 million to increase the provision of Level 4 and 5 qualifications. 

The funding for performing arts courses is being distributed to 15 specialist higher education providers on the basis of a formula, for the academic years 2022-23 to 2026-27. Of these, six will receive the maximum amount of £1 million per annum.

This funding is designed to improve access and teaching resources for contemporary music, drama and dance courses, and will support:

  • Improved delivery of teaching and learning to students
  • Development of partnerships with other higher education providers, nationally and internationally, or relevant industries to improve study and career opportunities for students 
  • Access to specialist performing arts education for students from underrepresented groups
  • Provision of specialist equipment for students, such as musical instruments, costumes or computing equipment. 

British and Irish Modern Music (BIMM) University Limited, Leeds Conservatoire, The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA), Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance, and Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance are among those that have been awarded funding.  

Susan Lapworth, chief executive of the OfS, said: 

‘The performing arts make a significant economic and cultural contribution to society. They enrich lives and create tens of thousands of jobs across the UK. Students choosing performing arts courses develop diverse skills and have a wide range of career opportunities. The OfS’s investment will ensure that current and future generations of students – whatever their background – are able to succeed during their studies and into their careers. The small size and highly specialised approach of the institutions we are funding play an important role in their educational experience of students, and this funding will ensure they can continue to deliver a high quality experience.

‘We continue to invest in alternative routes into higher education to widen the opportunities available to every student. Today’s investment in degree apprenticeships and Level 4 and 5 qualifications will ensure that more can be done to extend the range of training available. We encourage universities and colleges to continue to develop and evaluate these courses to ensure students are equipped with the skills they need for their first or next career.’ 

Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education Robert Halfon said: 

‘Degree apprenticeships offer people of all backgrounds an alternative route to achieving their career goals than doing a traditional three-year degree. They enable students to earn while they learn the skills needed to build a successful career. I’m delighted that the OfS is continuing to support and encourage HE providers to expand their degree and degree level apprenticeship offer. 

‘It’s also great news that the OfS is providing a funding boost to help make sure more students across the county can access high quality creative and performing arts courses.   

‘This investment will help us continue to build a skills and apprenticeship nation and extend the ladder of opportunity to even more people.’ 

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