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Forthcoming events

Underneath the metrics: What is really happening to Art and Design education?

Friday 29 June 2018


One Day Seminar/Conference




Every day we face a barrage of statistics which have a significant impact on our creative work with students. Whether it is NSS scores or UCAS application statistics, DLHE results or diversity data, TEF, LEO or REF, these metrics are often telling us crucial information about the strengths and weaknesses of Art and Design Higher Education in achieving current government agendas. At a time when the wellbeing of our sector is under threat from so many directions, we need to tackle the weaknesses, nurture the strengths, and understand and contextualise our value, emerging from analysis of the ‘big data’.

This year’s conference seeks to dig below the surface of the metrics to look not only at whole cohorts but also at the individuals, to unearth key issues which our sector faces, including diversity, employability, mental health and the twin challenges of recruitment and retention. We will be aided by the release of new data, commissioned by GLAD, which analyses trends in recruitment to different disciplines in Art and Design over the last ten years. We will be inviting along new voices to enrich the debate and promote creative exchange.

Paper and workshop sessions will be 30 minutes duration, to consist of 20 minutes input and 10 minutes discussion. Lightning Talks - 5 minutes in length and designed to challenge our established ways of thinking – will also punctuate the proceedings.

Delegate Fee:  £95.00
Please register online


1. Changing Contexts : Diversity – LGBT – Ethnicity – Mental Health & Wellbeing

  • What do the metrics reveal about diversity in our sector?
  • How can we improve the success of our BME students?
  • What is being done to address hidden assumptions in our curriculum over gender and ethnicity?
  • How can we best promote wellbeing, and support students with mental health issues?

2. Student Success : Recruitment – Progression – Retention

  • What is happening to application and recruitment patterns?
  • How is Art and Design Higher Education responding to the narrowing of the national curriculum, changes to the Further Education sector and growth in apprenticeships?
  • Are we all about UCAS points?
  • How successful is Art and Design Higher Education in retaining all students and ensuring their success?

3. The External Environment - REF… TEF… NSS… DLHE… LEO…

  • How is Government Policy shaping our future?
  • How can we improve the perception of Art and Design in the sector that is derived from metrics?
  • What is the sector doing to counter negative forces?
  • Is an art and design education just about getting a conventional job or a high income?

4. Learning spaces

  • What are the impacts of spaces on learning?
  • How are our physical and virtual learning spaces responding to changes in technology?
  • What innovative responses to learning space design are occurring within and outside of our institutions?


Manchester School of Art
Benzie Building
Higher Ormond St / Boundary St West
M15 6BR

Booking Info



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