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Opinion

Opinion: Let's have the discussion about what a creative uni course needs to do

Posted by Rob Alderson,

This week Rob Alderson calls for a proper discussion about what creative courses need to do in order to justify the rocketing fees, and as ever we want to hear from you via the comment thread below…

Whenever a new university year begins we are inundated with coverage about eye-popping freshers’ week debauchery, but this year there’s a new narrative in town. With government fees hiked up to £9,000 a year for some courses, both parents and students face tough decisions as to the worth of a university education.

It’s therefore the perfect time for industries like ours to look at the kind of education we want new recruits to be getting and it is all of our responsibility to take part in this discussion. University of the Arts London and LBI are currently running a conference called Alt/Shift which seeks: “…to open the doors to a frank and honest exchange of views between education and key players within the creative industries, and help us create an educational environment that encourages engagement with the ideas and principles which are shaping the contemporary world in order to influence its future development.”

So far so laudable and it’s vital that we are having these kind of conversations. Graduates must come out with core skills and the confidence to use them in the right ways. But although the temptation might be to focus on technical abilities with provable value we also need designers who are willing and able to think about what design can do and should do.

And just as academics and industry figures must have their say, it would be mad to overlook the group with the best take on the university experience – the recent grads themselves. With a few months’ experience in the real world but a recent, in-depth understanding of the university experience they are ideally placed to flag up what works and what doesn’t.

What are the bits you would keep and which would you jettison of the current system? As an industry do we do enough to work with universities and colleges? What skills or abilities do you most like to see in newly-graduated recruits?

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Posted by Rob Alderson

Editor-in-Chief Rob oversees editorial across all three It’s Nice That platforms; online, print and events. He has a background in newspaper journalism and a particular interest in art, advertising and photography. He is the main host of the Studio Audience podcast.

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