MAKING CREATIVITY PAY
“Our whole BA Hons program is predicated on our links
and connections with industry. To have a successful course,
you’ve got to have successful outcomes,” says managing
director Jules Brookes.
“That’s why we have relatively new roles that we’ve
brought in for careers engagement, industry liaison execu-tives,
and student services, and they are all designed to
provide opportunities so… students start working in the
industry whilst they are here on the course.”
The focus on “successful outcomes” for students, perhaps
a job at a big film company or a job in music production,
means that traditional assessment on creative arts programs
is sometimes less important than having a killer portfolio
that will impress employers.
Mozaik Play’s Providel makes this point, as well as
highlighting the importance of training students up in their
business and negotiation skills.
“It’s not enough, for example, to design and develop
an amazing game app... you also need to understand how
to reach an audience and make commercial sense of it,”
he says. “These skill sets should be taught throughout the
course, not just towards the last term.”
The outcome of such industry-focused programs are
students with real world skills. This is good for society at
14 | THE PIE REVIEW | ISSUE #25
large, says The New School’s Montgomery. She argues that
creativity, and artistry, play an increasingly important role in
both the private and public sectors.
Creativity is increasingly the single biggest asset that edu-cation
leaders say that employers want to see in graduates,
beyond knowledge and learning in their chosen sphere.
“These students have the potential to catalyse new ideas
and provide a roadmap for leading and managing change,”
she asserts. “Creative arts students are particularly adept
at cultivating creativity and empathy, developing aesthetic
strategies, unlocking new entrepreneurial opportunities, and
improving quality of life.”
Marketing and recruitment
The way that creative arts programs market to and recruit
international students doesn’t follow the established
models of other discipline areas. The breadth of talent is
impressive, with programs attracting the brightest teach-ing
staff and students.
The reputation of alumni can be so great that program
conveyors don’t even have to market their courses. For
example at the UK’s National Film and Television School,
alumni have won 11 Oscars, 138 BAFTAs and have been
nominated dozens of times for each.
“It’s about graduate success. Recently four of our gra-duates
got named Oscar nominations with two of those
winning for Cinematography and Sound Mixing,” says
Wardle. “We find that our website, our festival success and
graduate success are what generates interest and makes
people want to come.”
According to Wardle, when it comes to the NFTS’ ultra-competitive
courses, an agent-led approach the marketing
and recruitment just doesn’t work.
“It’s not that we wouldn’t work with agents out of prin-ciple.
I think the thing with agents, from our perspective, is
that we are dealing with such small numbers. They want me
to be able to say that I could guarantee they could make
offers for 30 people and get their commission for 30 people.”
NFTS Diploma courses can take up to 16 students but
Wardle explains that the majority of their MA courses take
eight in each discipline so they agonise over who those eight
people are. As a result, he feels he can’t pass that decision to
an agent. “Fundamentally this means that it doesn’t work.”
However this isn’t necessarily the norm. Findlay from
Griffith University explains that agents play a key role in
explaining the value of their degrees to potential students.
“In the creative arts areas, it can be a challenge to clearly
articulate the value proposition of our programs, so it is
Griffith University in Australia offers a
Bachelor of Creative Industries course,
which includes interactive storytelling,
music and sound and digital arts
Students start working
in the industry while they
are here on the course
PHOTO: GRIFFITH UNIVERSITY