A Facebook page for the Save The BCU Birmingham School of Media Against the £230,000 Cut. Frankly, I didn’t even know we had a Birmingham School of Media. Wrong campus, and I don’t think it’s part of BIAD. So I can’t honestly say… “ooh, worth saving!”, etc — because I know nothing of it in its current form. But it seems like a worthy cause.

I fear the entire university system is going to have to find across-the-board cuts of 5 to 6% in the next 18 months. Perhaps more in institutions without fat reserves to draw on and/or if we see a big devaluation on the pound and/or a big rise in VAT. And the humanities will likely bear more than their fair share of the cuts, despite being one of the cheapest areas to teach and research in.

This BCU cut comes on top of complete closure of important bits of BIAD last year, and wider local cuts already announced — in universities (Wolverhampton Uni to loose “up to 250 jobs” announced last August, before the nation’s money ‘ran out’) and local colleges (massive job losses looming at City College, South Birmingham College, Birmingham Met College, and Wolverhampton College, that I know of. Sutton Coldfield College lost 100 teachers back in the Spring). Even strong institutions such as Keele University in North Staffordshire are reported to be facing £6.5m in cuts.

These are Labour cuts of course, which Labour was too cowardly to implement in its vicious senility. And they’re set against the background of the Labour cuts of a few years ago — which saw adult education (aka “night school classes”) in England & Wales deliberately cut 1.5 million course places in just two years, along with all the sessional/visiting teachers. And in the dog-days of last August there was a quiet official announcement of a big cut to the funding of pre-degree one year Foundation degrees, which will presumably be kicking in soon. Both these factors disproportionately hit the arts.