The UK is a centre of research into areas of Art and Design, to understand trends and the application of new technologies. For example, at Middlesex University “ADRI” (the Art and Design Research Institute) was created in 2007 for research into Electronic Arts, History of Art and Design, Fine Art, Domestic Design and Architecture and General Design. The work of ADRI includes international peer-reviewed publications and major exhibitions with work shown in over 25 countries in areas such as photography and the digital image, innovative development of sonic arts, explorations of location based audio drama with the BBC, interactive guidance for pedestrians with London Transport, globalisation, the role of art and design in developing national cultures and the link between design and developing economies.
There are so many ways in which you can develop your creative talents in the many art departments of universities and colleges around London and the UK. Choose among art and design subjects, areas of the media like journalism, TV, video production, creative writing, digital media, music, theatre arts and dance. Middlesex University, for example, offers these and more, including sound design, fashion promotion, music, arts management and games design. The options are vast and varied; the potential is infinite. The range of creative careers is wider than you think. Interested? Go to www.britishcouncil.org.ua and explore the breadth of degree programmes and universities available.
Five reasons to choose the UK’s creative industries
1. The UK is export-minded – The UK has a long and successful history of trading with all parts of the world, and its creative industries are a huge success story, delivering over £19.8bn of creative services exports in 2014. The growth strategy developed by the UK government and industry aims to increase creative services exports to £31bn by 2020.
2. The UK is an originator and amplifier of global trends – The UK has a unique combination of strengths in media, culture and education which enable it to create and transmit trends and influence. The UK was ranked number two on the 2016 Soft Power Rankings, and third by the 2015 Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands Index which records the value of the positive perceptions consumers worldwide have of individual countries.
London has been named the most influential city in the world by Forbes for its combination of “efficiency and access to capital and information” as well as its concentration of media, culture and business power. In addition, London was ranked number one in the 2012 Creative City Index compiled by the Australia-based ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries & Innovation.
The UK is seen by trend forecasters as a key market; if trends do not take root in the UK, they are unlikely to be considered truly global.
3. It is an open, attractive market for creative investment – UK creativity is defined by its openness to outside ways of thinking and collaborations. There are an estimated 1.2bn people on the planet either speaking or learning to speak English, and the UK has both a long history of international trading and a vibrant, stable multi-cultural population. These factors make the country well-equipped to work with foreign traditions and partners and underpin the UK’s accessibility to overseas clients and investors.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) in the UK was estimated to have passed the £1trillion mark in 2014 with FDI inflows into the UK growing by 50 per cent during that year, according to preliminary OECD estimates, compared to a global decline of 11 per cent. The World Bank ranks the UK sixth globally for ease of doing business.
There are also specific financial incentives to invest in the UK’s creative sector. For example, there are tax reliefs which allow productions to access a rebate of up to 25% of qualifying expenditure in the film, high-end television and animation sectors. In direct relation to this, the government is also matching industry funding into the skills of the workforce through the Skills Investment Fund. This approach has greatly benefited the British film industry, with inward investment directly contributing £10 billion to the UK economy over the last 10 years and encouraging some of the global television industry’s most exciting programmes, such as Game of Thrones, to head to the UK.
4. It offers educational excellence – According to the World University rankings produced by Times Higher Education and Thomson Reuters, the UK has seven out of the top 50 universities in the world, with London considered by PwC the global capital of higher education.
It’s creative and performance education system is much imitated. The UK has a network of admired art schools; architecture is taught at more than 40 UK centres and the country was an early leader in developing dedicated digital design and games development courses. The UK is ranked second globally for industry-university collaboration.
5. Innovation Nation – The UK is an innovation-driven economy: between 2000 and 2009, more than 60% of productivity growth came from innovation. From fashion to film, architecture to advertising, UK creatives have a well-earned reputation for challenging conventions and embracing the new with professionalism and flair.