Boris Johnson has made a habit in the past year of failing to mention Higher Education during his many announcements to alter course in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Specific guidance for Universities would trickle out in the days following policy changes, requiring staff and students to jump through hurdles at short notice. However, this should not be mistaken for disinterest. On the contrary, the Government has taken a keen and prescriptive interest in how Universities have managed their responses — with a veiled threat that the support on offer was to restructure failing institutions.
This apparent desire to shake up the sector was reinforced in late January this year, when we received a deluge of announcements relating to Higher Education. The sort of ‘everything at once’ approach. And Gavin Williamson simply could not resist the temptation to place special emphasis on media studies as a symbolic beacon for courses of low strategic value when he announced the changes. Make no mistake, this was all about shifting emphasis to ‘strategic subjects’ while ‘slashing the taxpayer subsidy for such subjects as media studies’. This issue of Three-D features responses to this and many of the other Government announcements. It promises to be an interesting year ahead!
This is my last editorial as I’m stepping down as Editor of Three-D after 12 years at the helm. During this time the association’s newsletter has evolved and expanded, with a much greater emphasis on features and analytical pieces. We have put a spotlight on higher education policies, on media policies and reform agendas, on disruptions to the creative industries, and on a range of contemporary issues of concern to members. It is also an important vehicle to disseminate to the membership responses to consultation and statements issued by the MeCCSA Executive Committee on behalf of our members. It is a newsletter, and at the same time so much more.
I want to thank everyone who has contributed over the past 24 issues – several hundred different contributors, so I can’t name you all, but I appreciate every one who has taken the time to write and help me curate. The newsletter is for the members, by the members, and it would not have been possible without you.
Thank you all!