In the troubling wave of cuts in creative education, one recent development goes against the tide.
Ravensbourne, formerly a college, was officially granted university status last month. Ravensbourne’s key focus is the creative industries and preparing its students for thriving careers within it. That they have attained university status - becoming the newest university in England - is a very encouraging sign for creative education.
Attaining such status involves a long and highly rigorous process. The fact that Ravensbourne has managed to make the grade is not only a testament to its all around excellence as a learning institution, but is also a concrete signal from higher education authorities that creative education is to be valued in the highest terms.
We hope this development gets the attention it deserves and helps begin to turn the tide, so that the primary position of creativity within the educational system is restored to its rightful place - as a key vehicle for developing the talents of the next generation and a driver of the economy.
Director, Professor Linda Drew said: “We are delighted to have been awarded the honour of university status by the Privy Council and are very proud to now be Ravensbourne University London, a specialist creative institution designed for industry.
“The awarding of university status acknowledges Ravensbourne’s academic integrity as a higher education institution with rigorous standards and academic governance. It’s a further endorsement of the quality (and breadth) of learning offered here.
“This is the next step in Ravensbourne’s journey. We’ll be driving forward our new academic plan, the Mindsets and Skillsets Manifesto, a promise to nurture and inspire people who are valuable to and valued by the world beyond university.”
Jonathan Drori CBE, Chairman of the Board of Governors said: “This is great news and a just reward for the drive and ambition of the whole institution.
“In a landscape of hectic change, Ravensbourne is well positioned for the future. We already have tight relationships with industry and our new university status will help us to become even more intimate with the creative sector that is so important to London and the wider economy.”
Ravensbourne boasts impressive alumni including fashion designers Stella McCartney and Bruce Oldfield, Kevin Carrigan (senior vice president and creative director, Ralph Lauren), literary scholar Robert Hewison, handbag designer Emma Hill, sculptor Alison Wilding and co-designer of the Olympic 2012 torch Jay Osgerby.