Research Output
Creative Futures: Building the Creative Economy through Universities.
  The creative industries are founded on innovation. They are responsive, multifaceted and evolving and have developed new models of business in order to adapt and contribute to a world in economic, social and cultural flux.

Over the past two decades UK universities have positioned themselves to provide pre-entry professional training for the creative economy. In their capacity as mediators between students and industry, universities have the capability to provide industry-relevant courses and learning opportunities. By maintaining close links with the creative economy, universities demonstrate
both responsiveness to industry needs and reciprocity by acting as catalysts and centres for knowledge exchange in helping to support innovation and development. Section 2 provides an overview of the creative economy in the
UK and of the contribution of universities to it. In section 3 we provide evidence and examples that indicate a strengthening of teaching practices that ensures graduates are fully prepared for the realities of employment. The
section also stresses the benefits to be derived by regional industry from the expertise and facilities offered by universities.

In section 4 we assess the availability and levels of funding for higher education institutions seeking to develop innovation and enhance the economic impact of the creative industries. We recognise the key role played
in funding the creative industries sector by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). We also examine more recent streams of funding put in place by UK government for research and knowledge transfer in the creative
industries, such as those of the Technology Strategy Board.

The report draws on data collected from Million+ subscribing universities. This was supplemented with more general material from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and the
Technology Strategy Board. Data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency was consulted through the Higher Education Information Database for Institutions but these did not provide the level of detail required. Case studies
were more rewarding in their specific illustration of the principles and practices underpinning the contribution of universities to the creative economy. This qualitative approach particularly strengthened the discussions within section 3. The whole report benefited from a number of previous studies of aspects of the creative industries and the creative economy; these studies are acknowledged at the appropriate point in the footnotes.

  • Type:

    Project Report

  • Date:

    30 November 2007

  • Publication Status:


  • Publisher


  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    378 Higher education


Atton, C., McCleery, A., Mabweazara, H. & Ward, S. (2007). Creative Futures: Building the Creative Economy through Universities. Edinburgh, Scotland: Million+



Higher Education; Creative Industries; Business Relevance; Adaptability; Case Studies;

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