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Scientists: ‘Give arts same billing as STEM subjects’

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Leading British scientists and engineers are calling on the incoming government to give arts education the same value as science, technology, engineering and maths.

It comes after education secretary Nicky Morgan said last year that choosing to study arts subjects could “hold [students] back for the rest of their lives”.

The campaign is a joint initiative between the Institute of Civil Engineers and the Creative Industries Federation and was launched at an event in central London on May 13.

Speakers at the event included Claire Gott from the Institute of Civil Engineers, Jason Jones-Hall, who is head of delivery and development at Creative Skillset, and author and games entrepreneur Ian Livingstone.

Research by the two organisations found that only one in 12 current students in England combine arts and science disciplines at AS level, but more than a third of established civil engineers considered for a top-ranking scholarship had studied a creative or design subject at AS and A level.

The arts industry has previously lobbied for cultural education to enjoy equal status alongside the STEM subjects, with bodies including Equity, UK Theatre and Dance UK urging a new government to prioritise the arts in education.

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