Tiga warns against university cuts

Immediate release

May 8th 2009

Tiga warned the Government today against slashing higher education funding. John Denham, Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills, warned the university and further education sectors in a letter yesterday that they will have to make spending reductions of£300 million next year.

Richard Wilson, CEO of Tiga, said:

“The UK video games industry needs well educated and qualified people in order to compete effectively. Universities supply an important part of the industry’s workforce. Many developers recruit graduates in disciplines including mathematics, computer science and video games. On average, 60% of game developers’ staff are qualified to degree level or the vocational equivalent; in some studios over 80% are qualified to this level.

“If the UK games industry in particular, and our economy in general, is to maintain its competitive edge then higher education must be adequately funded. Our universities are already comparatively underfunded. The UK spends just 1.1% of Gross Domestic Product on higher education compared to the USA’s 2.9%.

“The Government should be increasing expenditure on higher education to ensure that the UK is well positioned when we emerge from the recession. UK higher education has a well deserved international reputation for quality. We should be building on this reputation, not undermining it.”

Ends

Notes to editors:

1. Tiga is the national trade association that represents games developers in the UK and in Europe. We have 150 members, the majority of whom are either independent games developers or in-house publisher owned developers. We also have outsourcing companies, technology businesses and universities amongst our membership.

2. 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: Dr Richard Wilson, Tiga CEO on: 0845 0941095; Mob: 07875 939643; or: Email: richard.wilson@tiga.org, or Eva Whitlow, TIGA PR Manager on: Mob: 07814 039 983; Email: eva@tiga.org.


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