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Young designer posing with group of models

British creative education comes first

Written by Nigel Carrington
Published date 27 February 2019

UAL has risen to Top 2 in the QS World University Rankings 2019 for art and design, based on extensive academic and employer surveys. The RCA and UAL now rank as the leading art and design institutions in the UK and in the world. The Glasgow School of Art (#8), Goldsmiths (#11) and UCL (#36) also rank high for art and design.

This is due to the outstanding reputation of British creative education among academics and employers worldwide. Creative education is on a high because it defies expectations. There is huge worldwide demand for creativity in the arts, in industry, in government and civil society.

Working with mainstream and specialist institutions across the UK, UAL is addressing the important challenges of the age, including AI and the Data Economy, Clean Growth, and skills shortages in augmented, virtual and mixed reality.

We are in good company – Britain leads five other subject categories with first and second place held by Oxford and Cambridge, plus Oxford and LSE in one category.

But the international standing of British creative education is at risk due to Government policy. Art and design teaching in schools is in freefall. EU students – about 15% of UAL’s student body – will fall by around half following Brexit. This will reduce the attractiveness of the UK to international students. University art and design courses could become nonviable if rumours about the post-18 funding review are true.

To ensure British creative education continues to thrive, I call on the Government to re-invest in art and design teaching at secondary level, to guarantee our global network of international staff and students, and to encourage the multinational success story of UK art and design through academic freedom of movement.


Read the story in the Evening Standard: 26 February 2019

Image: QEII 2019 Award for British Design winner London College of Fashion UAL alumna Bethany Williams and models wearing her collection at LFW. Credit Getty Images