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Culturing Growth: the contribution of specialist arts education to the UK economy and society

Sadler's Wells, Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R 4TN
8 February 2011 10:00-17:00

ukadia are pleased to announce their 2011 conference.
How can the specialist arts HE sector help to culture/cultivate/create economic growth?
Despite the recession, the creative industries are the fastest growing sector in the UK.
A new report commissioned by ukadia, CHEAD and Universities UK states that the contribution of HE to the UK creative economy is underplayed and negated by claims of graduates not possessing the relevant skills for the creative and cultural industries.
‘Culturing’ is a term used by biologists to describe the process of creating and maintaining ideal conditions for growth.  How are specialist Arts HE institutions ‘culturing’ their students’ abilities, creativity and potential? How can our graduates help to ‘culture’ the upturn of the UK economy?  Would a more diverse workforce meet the needs of the creative and cultural economy better, and what can we do to provide this workforce?
The next ukadia conference seeks to be a forum for discussion for over a hundred senior managers and practitioners from across the specialist arts education sector.


  • Professor Stuart Bartholomew, Chair of ukadia and Principal of the Arts University College at Bournemouth
  • David Willetts MP, Minister of State for Universities and Science
  • Tamara Howe, Chief Operating Officer, Children's BBC
  • Steven Besley, Head of Policy Edexcel/Pearson, and author of Edexcel's Policy Watch
  • Ian Brinkley, Director of Socio-Economic Programmes, The Work Foundation

Workshop presentations:
Session 1

  • Work placements in the arts and cultural sector: Diversity, equality and access
    Dr Kim Allen from London Metropolitan University and Professor Jocey Quinn from Plymouth University will introduce their research which was conducted for the Equality Challenge Unit.
  • Stepping Out
    Carolyn Bew from the Art Design Media Subject Centre will introduce the Stepping Out projects, a series of studies on creative and cultural sector engagement with Arts HE.
  • Creative Career Stories
    Emma Pollard and Joy Oakley from the Institute of Employment Studies and Linda Ball from University of the Arts London will present the follow-up report to Creative Graduates Creative Futures which was published earlier in 2010.

Session 2

  • The Barriers to Social Mobility in the Creative Industries
    Ryan Shorthouse from the Social Market Foundation will present Disconnected: Social Mobility and the Creative Industries, a recently published collection of essays from experts and commentators looking at the public policy challenge involved in boosting social mobility in the growing creative industries.


  • Contribution of HE to the Creative Economy
    Brian McLaren from EKOS will present The Contribution of Higher Education to the UK Creative Economy, a report commissioned by Universities UK, GuildHE, ukadia, CHEAD, Skillset and Research UK.
  • Skillset and Higher Education
    Chris Wensley from Skillset will present on approving Academies, accrediting courses and their 'pick the tick' campaign.

The conference dinner will take place on Monday, 7 February, also at Sadler’s Wells. The After Dinner Speaker will be Sir Christopher Frayling, former Rector of the Royal College of Arts and former Chair of Arts Council England.

Contact Name:
Maria Oliver
Contact Email:

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