Thursday, 13 January 2011

University Arts Funding

A massive issue at my university currently is funding for the arts.  The governments limitations on funding for arts and humanities funding will effect many universities, thousands of students and the industries as a whole.  I am currently studying MA Fashion and Lifestyle Promotion at UCLAN, extending my knowledge from my BA (Hons) Fashion and Brand Promotion with Journalism, for which I gained a first.  There has always been an issue with funding but according to my tutor the only reason the creative departments are managing is because we are part of a larger university that also teaches subjects the government will fund such as sciences.

What is strange about this is that fashion is an extremely profitable industry.  It is worth £21 billion in the UK alone and is our 15th largest industry according to Fashion United, similar in size to the food/beverage services and telecommunications industries and bigger than the wholesale and retail of automotives, sports activities, chemical manufacture and advertising/video sectors".  Why aren't we investing in fashion and other creative industries when they are great for our country not just in economical terms but because of the culture they add.

Fashion is innovative and the UK has some of the best fashion colleges and universities, whose graduates are driving its future.  So how can this continue with a lack of arts funding?  It has been acknowledged by many newspapers, such as The Guardian, that this will hit those from lower income families especially as solely arts based universities will need to rethink fees and supplementary costs.  So how will universities continue to be fair to all students?  And how will graduates get noticed when they leave?

Graduate Fashion Week was a great opportunity for me, I won the Lyle and Scott Strategic Marketing Award and got lots of opportunities to meet mentors as well as a fantastic win to put on my CV.  Whilst Graduate Fashion Week and portfolio websites claim to be fantastic there is still an issue with costs.  Universities are wondering if they can afford a stand/a catwalk at Graduate Fashion Week and graduates simply can't afford to join portfolio websites when there is such a slim chance anyone will see them.

Lyle and Scott Strategic Marketing Award 2009, Image from GFW Website

I have been considering creating a magazine as part of my MA to highlight the brilliant and conceptual work that can come from unknown creatives in the worlds of music, art, fashion, architecture and graphics.  Trends and industry articles would be supplemented by imagery created by new talent and additional elements would profile successful people within the industry and offer exhibitions etc that could further inspire.  I think it would be great for students and people within industry alike, giving them a chance to see what was already out there, inspiring them to make the most of themselves and their businesses. What do you think?


  1. I think it's a great idea, and congratulations!

    PS looking good in that pic!

    PPS if you could hook me up with that dark haired lass behind you, I'd appreciate it.

  2. Ha. That dark haired lass is a model so I might struggle with that... what with me not knowing her and all that. And thank you :o)