Department for Culture Media & Sport: Diversity within Arts
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) aims to ensure Britain is one of the world’s most creative and exciting places to live, visit and do business with. As part of this, DCMS is committed to encouraging participation and ensuring the pathways into the cultural sectors are better defined, signposted and supported, especially for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. The recently published Culture White Paper recognised this and Higher Education (HE) is an important route into arts professions through visual arts, dance, drama and music programmes offered by a range of institutions, including specialist Conservatoires and Drama Schools. Recent work carried out by CFE Research indicates that the participation gap within HE is reducing. However, evidence from a recent rapid literature review by DCMS indicates that the participation gap may be particularly pronounced for certain HE arts programmes. This had led DCMS to commission CFE research to undertake a detailed high-level analysis of HE data, derived from UCAS and HESA, to gain a deeper understanding of what barriers disadvantaged groups face within the arts disciplines and at what point barriers occur.