TIGA says “Increase Higher Education Funding!”

TIGA Demands Increasing Higher Eduction FundingThe trade association which represents the United Kingdom games industry said that the United Kingdom should aim to increase the proportion of Gross Domestic Product invested in higher education in two ways. The first way includes 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. The second one includes eliminating the cap on tuition fees. Tuition fees for students studying mathematics and computer science degrees should be set a competitive rate in comparison to other tuition fees in order to incentivize the study of these subjects. TIGA's comments are responses to the Lord Browne of Madingley's review of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance.

CEO of TIGA, Richard Wilson, said that The United Kingdom 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 their universities and to support their ambition to be a leading knowledge economy. He also said that 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.

Over the past twenty years, funding per student has halved in the United Kingdom. The funding in the United Kingdom, which is $11,866, is around half the United States level of investment, which is $24,704, and substantially lower than Canada, which is $19,993, and Sweden, which is $16,073. The United Kingdom video games industry competes to a crucial extent on the quality of its workforce. The supply and quality of graduates will be adversely affected if tertiary education is not adequately financed.

TIGA board member, Jamie Macdonald, said that 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 those subjects. Jamie Macdonald also stated that 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.

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