Creative HEI’s play a vital role not only in the creative skills pipeline but also in creative industries and clustering across the UK, yet there has been a lack awareness amongst policymakers of the important role of HEIs in driving the creative economy. The top 10 in the new Global University Employability Survey launched by THES last year is dominated by USA tech institutions. Globally, most experts agree that a holistic approach to employability works best but, nevertheless, most effort tends to focus more narrowly on encouraging employment directly through industry partnerships. This narrower approach tends to be reflected in current UK policy which foregrounds industry leadership and data as key to enhancing graduate employability. Industry partnerships are, of course, crucial in preparing graduates with employable skillsets, providing opportunities for widening experience before graduation, and for graduate placements. An overly prescriptive approach to employability and skills, however, is more likely to stifle the holistic approach agreed by top-10 HEIs to be crucial for success. In addition, NewDLHE (see above) may lead to an increasingly inaccurate model of creative graduate employment. How can we ensure that HE data credibly reflects creative graduate employability? How can the UK creative HE sector develop a coherent and effective strategy for creative employability and communicate this to policymakers?
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