Tuition Fees

Part of Opposition Day — [7th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 8:54 pm on 30th November 2010.

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Photo of Joan Ruddock Joan Ruddock Labour, Lewisham, Deptford 8:54 pm, 30th November 2010

Does the Minister know what Antony Gormley, Mary Quant, Damien Hirst, Bridget Riley and Sam Taylor-Wood have in common? They are all past students of Goldsmiths college in my constituency- [Interruption.] I am sorry; it was not a joke. All have become leaders and innovators in their chosen field and brought honour to the arts in the UK. It is what Goldsmiths college, which has been part of the university of London for 100 years, is good at.

Today Goldsmiths college has more than 5,500 undergraduates, more than 3,000 postgraduates and close to 1,000 members of staff, and it is one of the top five employers in Lewisham. But for how long? Goldsmiths' focus is on the arts, humanities and social sciences, and because of that, it can expect to lose most, if not all, its teaching funding-a staggering £16.5 million. Even as I say it, I can scarcely believe it. I say that as a science graduate who has always championed the cause of greater science funding.

It cannot be a question of either/or. Institutions such as Goldsmiths and the Trinity Laban conservatoire of music and dance, of which I am a director, have no options. Even now, they are unable to calculate the precise implications of the Government's draconian spending cuts on their future funding or the fees they will need to charge.