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Higher Education & the Creative Economy Dr Roberta Comunian, School of Arts, University of Kent Introduction An expanding literature acknowledges that.

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Presentation on theme: "Higher Education & the Creative Economy Dr Roberta Comunian, School of Arts, University of Kent Introduction An expanding literature acknowledges that."— Presentation transcript:

1 Higher Education & the Creative Economy Dr Roberta Comunian, School of Arts, University of Kent Introduction An expanding literature acknowledges that universities are deeply implicated in the knowledge economy. Many funding and development initiatives have stimulated engagement between Higher Education (HE) and the wider economy. However, while plenty of research looks at these connections in relation to science, technology and the knowledge economy, very little is known of how and why universities engage with the creative economy. The creative economy The creative economy is a broad and evolving concept centred around the role played by culture and creativity in today's economy. As UNCTAD (2008:9) suggests “at the heart of the creative economy lie the creative industries”. “Creative industries constitute a vast and heterogeneous field dealing with the interplay of various creative activities ranging from traditional arts and crafts, publishing, music, and visual and performing arts to more technology-intensive and services-oriented groups of activities such as film, television and radio broadcasting, new media and design” (UNCTAD, 2008:4). Creative graduates. HE plays a role in the distribution and role of creative graduates in UK and their relation to local job markets. The capacity to retain and nurture graduates in this specific field has strong link with local economic development. Creative workspace. Alongside other support services, the provision of facilities is an important role played by universities, when SMEs can often struggle to afford big investments (i.e. music studios or venues). Cultural provision. The relevance of university cultural provision in UK to internal and external audiences. The majority of HEIs invest in their local cultural provision (hosting theatres, music venues, museums and arts galleries). This relates also to aspects of social and civic engagement. Creative knowledge transfer. HEIs are a key element in the local knowledge networks of creative industries. Some these links are supported by public programmes and alumni / graduate relations. Creative industries business support. Business support services represent a key infrastructure to local creative industries but also to introduce graduate to a sector with high level self-employment. The research gap The relationship between HE and the creative economy is almost unexplored in the literature. There has been a recognition, especially in the HE policy that HE does interact with the creative industries “there are many excellent examples of collaborations involving the creative industries and universities or colleges of art and design. Policy-makers must ensure that policies aimed at promoting knowledge transfer are broad enough to allow initiatives such as these to grow and flourish, and that the focus is not entirely on science and engineering” (HM Treasury, 2003:45). However, it is not surprising that very little appears to be known about the modes through which universities and the creative economy interact. This poster explores these modes of interaction and illustrate them with some case studies. Modes of engagement In order to consider the role played by HE in the creative economy it is important to establish a framework to analyse and explore the modes of engagement and interactions. We explore these five modes of interaction through case studies below. Creative Graduates Creative workspace Cultural Provision Creative Knowledge transfer Creative Industries support London Creative Capital - London Higher London Higher has developed a policy study to investigate the contribution HE in the city to the local creative economy. London concentrates almost 24% of graduates in the creative disciplines in UK (Comunian and Faggian, 2010) ICE – Institute of Creative Enterprise at the University of Coventry The institute offers desktop facilities for creative industries, including meeting room and studio space. It also provides business and start-ups support services for creative industries. Leeds – University of Leeds is the newest theatre space in Leeds, opened in The facilities include a 180-seat main theatre, a ‘black box’ theatre, a dance studio, various backstage rooms, and offices for the School of Performance and Cultural industries. Culture Lab – University of Newcastle Culture Lab is a research infrastructure providing an environment to create valuable synergies with artists, creative industries, and cultural and scientific institutions, and the development of innovative research with digital tools. CIBAS – University of Portsmouth Cibas supports individuals in self- employment and companies in the creative industries with specialised support services such as mentor, business advice, seminars and networking events. References: Comunian R. and Faggian A. (2010), Higher Education and the Creative City, Working Paper, University of Southampton; HM Treasury, (2003) Lambert review of business-industry collaboration. HMT, London; UNCTAD, (2008) Creative economy. Report UNCTAD, Geneva-New York.


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