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Design Education: what’s your take?

For those interested in the field of design, pursuing a degree at a university used to provide numerous advantages and open doors to exciting career opportunities, but with this new take on design education, are there any advantages to looking at a university degree vs. an apprenticeship?

I was shocked to read an article in Design Week re: redundancies of part time staff members at the Royal College of Art, in favour of full time lecturers. As a design student, I found the tutors that were within industry, and shared their time between professional practice and lecturing, the most effective tutors.

People with real industry experience, in an industry that doesn’t stand still, are a highly valuable resource. “..the restructure: “effectively jettisons the crucial role of practitioner-lecturer at the RCA, which is also a core principle of art and design education.”

For those interested in the field of design, pursuing a degree at a university used to provide numerous advantages and open doors to exciting career opportunities, but with this new take on design education, are there any advantages to looking at a university degree vs. an apprenticeship? I can only see three advantages left, but let’s explore them anyway…

Some of the most important aspects from when I was at university; expert staff with real jobs in our industry, industry connections, networking and collaborative opportunities are clearly taking a backseat. These do not prepare the student for ‘real world’ design.  University education seems to be a different beast to what it was and moves like this surely just widen the gap between further education and the working world.

As someone that was looking to complete a research masters in design and go in to teaching alongside my design career (to ultimately better serve my students) I find this a worrying turn of events.

What are your thoughts? Contact us at Jili Allen Creative.