Universities launch campaign to celebrate post-pandemic creative subjects

Cressida Cowell

Research has found that almost two thirds of parents think creative university courses benefit the UK economy.

The difficulties the creative industries are facing during the pandemic have prompted universities to launch a campaign that champions the contributions of creative subjects.

The survey of more than 2,000 parents of children under the age of 18, conducted by Savanta ComRes, found that almost two-thirds (65%) thought creative courses benefit the UK economy, while almost one in seven (69%) said students earned important creative skills at the university, which were crucial for the promotion of the country’s creative industries.

But 67% of parents said they think the creative industries have suffered from the pandemic.

Nish Kumar
Nish Kumar (Ian West/PA)

In response, Universities UK has launched a campaign, Creative Sparks, to encourage government support for creative arts courses.

Each university has nominated a leading figure in national culture, including comedian Nish Kumar and Derry Girls screenwriter Lisa McGee.

Universities UK Chief Executive Alistair Jarvis said: “Our universities, creative education and brilliant academics are central to the UK’s creative excellence and critical to the success of our creative industries.

“They are the engine room of so many things that Britain is the envy of the world, including our music, films, television programs and video games.

“Universities are places where creative ideas flourish, innovations take place, and companies are born that employ thousands of people.

“This is where the creative sparks of the nation are ignited.”

Other “Sparks” nominees include musician Laura Mvula, Keith Chapman, creator of Bob The Builder and PAW Patrol, and Cressida Cowell, author of How To Train Your Dragon.

Chapman said: “My career would not have been possible without the skills I learned during my time at university and without the people I met.

“If the government wants our creative industries to remain the best in the world, they need to show they understand how important creative courses are to their success.”

A spokesman for the Department of Education said: “This Government remains committed to the arts and creative sectors and to the importance of nurturing talent in our world-class education system.”

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