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Written Statement - Proposals for an independent review of conservatoire provision in Wales

Huw Lewis, Minister for Education and Skills

The funding, regulation and oversight of higher education in the UK is undergoing fundamental change.  In Wales, the Welsh Government has established a review of higher education funding and student finance chaired by Professor Sir Ian Diamond of Aberdeen University who will report after the next National Assembly elections. More recently, I announced that Professor Ellen Hazelkorn has been asked to undertake a review of the governance, regulation and oversight of post compulsory education in Wales.  Professor Hazelkorn will report in the Spring.

The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama occupies a unique place in Welsh higher education being the National Conservatoire of Wales, and part of the University of South Wales Group.  The Royal Welsh College competes alongside an international peer group of conservatoires and specialist arts colleges. Other universities in Wales provide a mix of arts, music and performance education.

In the context of a rapidly changing higher education world, we need to ensure that Wales continues to benefit from high quality intensive performing arts courses which focus on practical and vocational performance.  Such provision is crucial to the skills needs of the creative industries and to the cultural life of Wales.  I have therefore asked my officials to draw up proposals for an independent review of conservatoire and related performing arts provision in higher education in Wales.  I shall publish details of the review, including its terms of reference, within the next week.