Increase higher education funding, says TIGA

10 March, 2010

TIGA, the trade association representing the UK games industry, said today that the UK should aim to increase the proportion of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) invested in higher education in two ways: by maintaining in real terms public expenditure on tertiary education at 2009 levels and then increasing it as the Government’s deficit is brought under control; and by eliminating the cap on tuition fees. TIGA also proposed that tuition fees for students studying mathematics and computer science degrees should be set at a competitive rate in comparison to other tuition fees to incentivise the study of these subjects. TIGA made the comments in response to Lord Browne of Madingley’s review of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance.

Richard Wilson, CEO of TIGA, said:

“The UK should aim to increase the proportion of GDP allocated to tertiary education in order to maintain the quality of higher education, to enhance the competitive edge of our universities and to support our ambition to be a leading knowledge economy. This should be achieved by increasing public investment in higher education as public borrowing is brought under control and by ending the cap on tuition fees.

“Funding per student has halved in the UK over the past 20 years. Funding in the UK ($11,866) is around half the US level of investment ($24,704) and substantially lower than Canada ($19,992) and Sweden ($16,073). The UK video games industry competes to a crucial extent on the quality of its workforce. If tertiary education is not adequately financed then the supply and quality of graduates will be adversely affected.

Jamie Macdonald, TIGA board member, said:

“Reducing tuition fees for mathematics and computer science degree courses and keeping them lower in comparison to other undergraduate subjects would provide a strong financial incentive to bright students to study these subjects. Other things being equal this should increase the supply of good quality graduates in these disciplines, potentially easing skill shortages in the video games sector and in other industries.”

Ends

Notes to editors:

About TIGA:

TIGA is the trade association representing the UK’s games industry. The majority of our members are either independent games developers or in-house publisher owned developers. We also have outsourcing companies, technology businesses and universities amongst our membership.

TIGA's vision is to make the UK the best place in the world to do games business. We focus on three sets of activities: political representation, generating media coverage and developing services that enhance the competitiveness of our members. This means that TIGA members are effectively represented in the corridors of power, their voice is heard in the media and they receive benefits that make a material difference to their businesses, including a reduction in costs and improved commercial opportunities.

For further information, please contact Eva Field, TIGA PR Manager on: 07814 039 983, or email eva@tiga.org.


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