Violinist Nicola Benedetti has warned that the UK government’s spending cuts could stop arts students from poorer backgrounds from going to university. Speaking at the launch of the Nicola Benedetti Scholarship Fund, which will support students taking Italian Studies at Edinburgh University, she is reported by Deadline News as commenting, ‘It’s a frightening situation that sometimes the more talented and eager students aren’t able to study because of financial reasons. The cultural sector is really being affected by a lot of cuts at the moment. I think any extra help culture and music can get is definitely necessary because unfortunately it’s not always the biggest priority.’

Her remarks were welcomed by the National Union of Students in Scotland, and its president Liam Burns confirmed Benedetti’s grim diagnosis: ‘Scotland has some of the lowest levels of student support in the UK and so it’s no surprise that we also have one of the worst records for numbers of students dropping out and a poor record on widening access to university to people from all backgrounds.’