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Journalism trainers voice fresh fears over cuts

Journalism lecturers have again raised concerns about how the government’s funding cuts will affect their courses.

University heads from 12 National Council for the Training of Journalists-accredited degree courses met with the training body in London at its annual undergraduate forum.

Their discussion focused on funding cuts to higher education over the next five years, with course leaders expressing concern, especially because the cost of teaching journalism skills was higher than some other academic subjects.

It is the second time in recent months that journalism training chiefs have raised concerns about the possible impact of funding cuts.

Tim Luckhurst, professor of journalism at the University of Kent, acknowledged students would be likely to take on larger debts and competition between courses would increase – but said it was crucial to remain accredited by the NCTJ.

He said: “NCTJ accreditation is evidence of excellence. It will let accredited journalism degree courses thrive in the new higher education market because it is a gold standard that will help us attract students who are determined to get value for their money.”

Course leaders agreed NCTJ graduates were more likely to get jobs in journalism, which was one reason why there were multiple applicants for each student place.

The lecturers also spoke about the costs of becoming accredited, leading to NCTJ chief executive Joanne Butcher pledging to look at ways of giving more value and ensuring cost effectiveness.

Ways of doing this which were suggested included streamlining examiner training, providing additional on-line resources and carrying out more proactive block marketing of accredited courses.

Chris Rushton, head of journalism and public relations at the University of Sunderland, said: “I am pleased that the NCTJ will be reviewing all activities to keep university costs to a minimum, while also maintaining the high standards that make accredited courses stand out from the rest.”

The NCTJ will publish its undergraduate results tables for the last academic year next month.


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  • November 4, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    There are excellent commercial courses out there, such as that run by Clemond Thom.

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  • November 4, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    The above comment is ridiculous. I suspect ‘Observer’ is one of Cleland Thom’s mates, if not the man himself, who should be paying for these kind of free plugs. Surprised HTFP hasn’t removed it.

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