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Creative Futures? Exploring the Creative & Media Arts in the University and Beyond

Docklands Campus, University of East London
2 June 2011 09:30-17:00

Creative arts and media have been one of higher education’s biggest success stories over the last decade. Student numbers have increased, the range of programmes on offer has expanded, while employment in the sector has grown at a faster rate than in the wider economy.

Higher education courses engage with the ‘creative industries’ in diverse ways, yet funding and other challenges give particular urgency to questions about the purposes, strategies and values of education going forward. The removal of public subsidy for teaching beyond science, technology, engineering and medicine (STEM) subjects and the dramatic planned rise in tuition fees have led to renewed stress upon the direct economic utility of courses and calls for greater alignment with the industries they are called upon to serve.

The ‘creative industries’ have now come to occupy a central place across national policies, the economy, and higher education agendas, yet in the context of such significant shifts, infrastructurally and ideologically, there is urgent need for intellectual reflection and analysis. What various perspectives on the creative industries are being promoted in policy agendas? What implications do these have for University provision and activities? What are the challenges for combining critical enquiry, professional utility, vocationalism, and social value?

As we prepare for radical change in the funding environment, this conference brings together academics, students, policy makers and practitioners to critically consider the future for media and creative arts education.

Keynote speakers include:

  • Professor Nick Couldry (Goldsmiths),
  • Marc Isaacs (BAFTA winning filmmaker & UEL graduate; All White in Barking, Travellers),
  • John Newbigin (Chairman of Creative England; to be confirmed),
  • Helen Burrows (Demos, and former ministerial adviser on Culture, Creative Industries and Communications),
  • David Powell (DPA).

This is a free event. To reserve a place please contact Stephen Maddison, Field Leader for Cultural Studies & Creative Industries, UEL,

After the Creative Futures conference there will be two Degree Showcases at UEL’s Docklands Campus. The Creative Futures Degree Showcase, starting at 5pm in the Multimedia Production Centre, will celebrate Creative Arts practice in Film, Photography, Computer Games Design, Interactive & Multimedia, Advertising, Media Studies, Journalism, Music, and Creative Writing. The Architecture and Visual Arts Showcase 2011 will present the Visual Arts Degree Show.

Contact Name:
Stephen Maddison
Contact Email:

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