Policy Update – March

March 10, 2017

This is the CHEAD policy update for March 2017 going into our annual Conference.


Wednesday 15th – Thursday 16th March 2017 hosted by Edinburgh College of Art

ECA Sculpture Court

ECA Sculpture Court

CHEAD2017 will explore the theme of global connections in art, design and creative higher education including opportunities to input to key policy work including the first of our Roundtable consultations for CHEAD/APDIG’s Brexit Manifesto to be launched in the House of Lords in September 2017 and the first of two roundtable discussions informing CHEAD’s response to the Industrial Strategy.

clive gillman

Clive Gillman, Director | Creative Scotland

Glive Gillman of Creative Scotland and Eliza Easton of Creative Industries Federation will share the Conference Keynote on Wednesday and will also participate in the Brexit Manifesto Roundtable along with Jack Tindale of APDIGGian Luca Amadei of the British Council will also keynote. Thursday will see workshops exploring global opportunities and showcasing the best of international collaborations and the first of two consultations to inform CHEAD’s response to the Industrial Strategy green paper response (more below). Prof Vicky Gunn of Glasgow School of Art will be offering an extended and detailed briefing on the latest development in TEF and TEF metrics

carla delfos

Carla Delfos

We have key contributors from all over the globe including Carla Delfos, Executive Director, ELIA, Richard Everitt, Director Education British Council India, Ross Sinclair, Artist, and Professor Craig Richardson, Professor of Fine Art, Loughborough University, Prof Mike Knowles of Sushant School of Design, Alessandro Colombo, Director, IED – Istituto Europeo di Design and Anastasia Butrym, Director of the British Higher School of Art and Design. CHEAD’s own Prof Dean Hughes will be hosting, Profs Kerstin Mey and Judy Glasman will be hosting panels on Developing Strategic International Partnerships and on Maintaining Internationalisation in Higher Education.

There are limited places available — contact Anna Maloney for more information.


24 May, Woburn House —Book your place here

Creative Education is facing a number of key challenges including a a shift towards evidence-based models in HE teaching, a crisis in secondary creative education, and changes in the way that graduate outcomes are measured. These challenges are unfolding in the context of an increasingly competitive global context and the uncertainty surrounding Brexit. How do creative HE leaders grapple with these challenges?

We have a packed agenda covering key issues in pedagogy innovation including:

prof susan orr

Prof Susan Orr

  • Prof Susan Orr of UAL presenting research on Digitally Engaged Learning and Dr Anne Adams of the OU talking about the work of the OU Innovating Pedgagogy group

    prof sally wade

    Prof Sally Wade

  • Prof Sally Wade of Sheffield Hallam and GLAD presenting research on Disciplines and Diversity and Prof Linda Drew of Rave on their work on HEFCE’s Learning Gain programme

    prof dean hughes

    Prof Dean Hughes

  • Prof Dean Hughes of Edinburgh College of Art talking about Practice, Research and Pedagogy
  • There is considerable confusion surrounding higher and degree apprenticeships — Dr Tim Coole of Bucks New University will be taking us through the thickets and his experience in STEAM-driven industrial partnerships.
  • Prof Vicky Gunn of Glasgow School of Art will be bringing us up to speed on Art & Design in the era of TEF (the move to metrics and impact statements in Art School teaching)

Book your place here!
The Membership & Networking meetings are free for CHEAD members, £30 for non-members. 

CHEAD Leadership Programme


We are currently in the process of designing the 2017/18 CHEAD Leadership Seminars series — please do let us have your suggestions if there’s a leadership theme you would like us to address in one of the Seminars — contact Anna Maloney for more information.

HE Reorganisation

HE Bill

The Higher Education and Research Bill is now in report stage with some significant amendments passed with the session on 6 March including the following key (or ‘wrecking’ depending on your point of view!) changes:

  • 263 members voted for a change to stop HE providers using Office for Students (OfS) ratings to determine course fees, with 211 against — passing an amendment decoupling TEF from course fees.
  • On a majority of 280-186 the Lords voted to leave out Clause 26 and insert the following new Clause: (1) The Secretary of State must by order bring forward a scheme to assess and provide consistent and reliable information about the quality of education and teaching at English higher education providers and at higher education providers in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland which apply to participate in such a scheme. (2) The scheme must be wholly or mainly based on the systems in place in higher education providers which ensure that the courses offered are taught to a high standard. (3) The Secretary of State, or that body designated by the Secretary of State to develop such a scheme, must, before such a scheme is introduced, and on a regular basis thereafter, obtain independent evaluations, including an evaluation from the Office for National Statistics, of the validity of any data or metrics included in such a scheme. (4) Any scheme introduced must evaluate and report on whether an institution meets expectations or fails to meet expectations on quality measures, but must not be used to create a single composite ranking of English higher education providers. (5) The Secretary of State’s power to make an order under subsection (1) is exercisable by statutory instrument, a draft of which must be laid before, and approved by, a resolution of each House of Parliament.”
  • In Clause 70, “protect academic freedom . . . ” to be replaced by “the institutional autonomy of English higher education providers.”  There are a number of successful amendments relating to the autonomy of UK Universities, there’s a good overview on THES.
  • Brakes have been applied to the fast-tracking of new providers in the form of a continuing requirement for validation with limited circumstances in which OfS can authorise new providers which can demonstrate high quality. Providers may also appeal OfS decisions regarding revocation of DAPs.
  • Amendments to allow the OfS to restrict enrolments at HE providers that do not meet quality standards and another change to give the OfS a duty to seek alternative placements for students of HE providers were defeated by substantial margins.
  • An amendment to require HE providers to give eligible students the opportunity to opt in to the electoral register when they enrol was passed with 200 in favour and 189 against.

Recalling some irrational exuberance when the Lords have previously amended the Bill it should be pointed out that the Government is not obliged to draft all these amendments into the Bill when it returns to the Commons.  The Government has previously exhibited considerable determination to maintain course on the HE Bill but, nevertheless, it seems likely that some redrafting will have to be done.

A third day of report stage is scheduled for 13 March. 


In the face of significant amendment by the Lords it looks as though TEF may not go forward as currently envisaged.

Whilst we wait for developments, Prof Vicky Gunn of Glasgow School of Art will be giving an extended briefing on TEF and TEF metrics at the 2017 CHEAD Conference, March 15/16 at Edinburgh College of Art and at the CHEAD Membership & Networking Meeting Pedagogy, Innovation, TEF and Beyond, 24 May in Woburn House, London.

Stern Review and Second REF Consultation

CHEAD has now completed its consultation process with three consultation roundtables hosted by Sheffield Hallam, Edinburgh College of Art and Westminster School of Media, Arts & Design. We are preparing our written response here and CHEAD members are invited to add their comments to the draft which will be submitted shortly before the start of #CHEAD2017 — so hurry if you haven’t already added yours.

NewDLHE: The future of graduate outcomes data

Consultation documents here | Consultation deadline Friday 7 April 2017

HESA has developed a new model for collecting information about what higher education (HE) students do after graduating and is inviting feedback. Please email Paula Graham-Gazzard with any feedback you would like added to CHEAD’s sector-wide response.

OfS Registration Fees for HE Providers Consultation

Consultation documents here | Consultation deadline 5pm on 14 March 2017

The government is seeking views on:

  • how to calculate the registration fee that registered higher education providers (like universities and further education colleges offering higher education) will pay to the Office for Students (OfS)
  • examples of where the OfS could use its power to charge other fees
  • how government funding to the OfS could work


No Government response to the Schools that Work for Everyone (grammar schools) consultation as yet — it seems likely that the government may press ahead with its plan for Universities to open specialist free schools even though there seems to be overwhelming agreement that this would detract from the existing range of widening participation activities.

Student Loans and Fees

The independent higher education (IHE) sector has warmly welcomed Jo Johnson’s announcement of the success of his tabled amendments to the HE Bill reducing barriers to the diversification of HE provision through course transfers and new fee structures for accelerated degrees promoted by the IHE.

In 2015 the Government responded to a consultation on loan support for postgraduate study. Following implementation reviews, the Government intends to introduce an income-contingent loan for doctoral study from the academic year 2018-19 available to individuals aged 59 and under. Wales will offer interim loans in 2017 following the Diamond review and there will also be changes to year 2017-18 in Scotland.

New part-time maintenance loan for students starting a degree level courses in attendance at an HE Provider will also be introduced in 2018/19. The Government intends then to extend this support to distance learning courses and Level 4 and 5 Higher Education qualifications from 2019/20, subject to the passage of the HE and Research Bill.

As set out in the Autumn Statement, the Government has been selling off student loans in the face of a critical campaign by the NUS who see the sale as a short-termist bid to reduce the deficit but will mean that the public will be subsidising a private company to profit from government debt. Students should notice little difference in practice, however.

Industrial Strategy

Consultation documents here |  Consultation closes 17 Apr 2017

The Government is currently consulting on a Building Our Industrial Strategy Green Paper which sets out the Government’s vision for a modern industrial strategy. It aims to start a genuinely open and collaborative conversation about the skills, research, infrastructure and the other things we need to get right to drive long term growth in productivity. Five sectors, including the creative industries, were named in the consultation.

The Government is considering targeted sector deals as part of the Industrial Strategy and it is vital that we present evidence to support facilitative post-study pathways for creative graduates through the Industrial Strategy consultation.

CHEAD will shortly begin consulting the art, design and creative media HE sector on what is needed from a targeted deal to ensure the future supply of appropriate high-level skills to the British creative industries and effective pathways into creative industries for graduates from UK and overseas. The first of two roundtables will be at #CHEAD2017 (see above) but it is crucial that we are able to unite around a common platform across the creative sector.

CHEAD also strongly encourages members to respond to calls for evidence which may provide key support for a targeted sector deal for the creative industries and to provide as much evidence as possible to CHEAD to support our response in the form of case studies or supporting data — email Paula Graham-Gazzard with any comments and/or supporting evidence. 

Once we have gathered evidence, we will make a draft available for comment from our members. We will be working closely with other sector bodies including CIF‘s FE and HE Working Group and APDIG in association with the Design Business Association to coordinate our responses.

APDIG has launched a call for evidence as to the role design should play in the Government’s industrial strategy. Give APDIG your views here on what the Government should consider in developing a modern industrial strategy embedding design principles at the heart of British industry, promoting access to design education, and working towards a targeted sector deal for the creative industries.

The Creative Industries Federation (CIF) is also consulting the creative industries sector in relation to the Industrial Strategy.

  • CIF is calling for evidence to support a targeted sector migration deal for the creative industries, CHEAD strongly encourages our members to send us case studies and any other data they may have to support a targeted migration strategy for the creative HE sector.
  • CIF has launched a survey intended to gather information about freelance workers to better inform policy-makers of their needs and the way they contribute to the economy. Please share with employment services and other freelance and entrepreneurial networks. Responses will be confidential – deadline 1 April.

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee launched its new short investigation on on 10 March 2017:  UK’s Industrial Strategy How will the industrial strategy affect innovation across the UK? The Committee is hearing evidence from leading academics but it’s disappointing, once again, that art, design and creative academia is not represented in an investigation into innovation.


Yesterday’s Budget announcement shows a strong focus on innovation and productivity as well as education. The Budget focus on creating a highly-skilled workforce is more than welcome but there are concerns about the extent to which the urgent skills shortages in the creative industries and the role of creative HE have been taken into account. There’s strong commitment to funding post-Brexit UK research but, until we know more, there are concerns about the extent to which the creative industries have been taken into account.

  • NPIF investment in innovation research is very welcome, with investment of £300 million to further develop the UK’s research talent but focus appears to be on science, technology and engineering with little recognition of the role that art, design and creative media play in innovation.
  • Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) will support collaborations between business and the UK’s science base and the list of specific challenges rules out creative research and industries explicitly.
  • Talent funding NPIF investment of £250m includes £90m for 1,000 additional PhD places, 85% of which are earmarked for STEM disciplines with 40% to directly help strengthen collaboration between business and academia through industrial partnerships.  £160m will support new fellowships for early and mid-career researchers in areas aligned to the Industrial Strategy — Sir Peter Bazalgette’s early work on defining creative industries as a challenge area and a sector deal for the creative industries may be key here but in the Industrial Strategy green paper, recognition of the creative industries challenge area is directly followed by a paragraph on the Challenge Strategy Fund which, in the budget, sees creative industries ruled out.
  • Global Research Talent, £100m investment in fellowships attracting global talent once again make no mention of creative industries.
  • ‘T-Level’ qualification intended to bring funding parity with academic routes for 16-19 year olds also seems to have little focus on urgent skills shortages in creative industries.
  • Class 4 National Insurance contributions will increase from 9% to 10% in
    April 2018 and to 11% in April 2019 to reduce the gap in rates paid by the self-employed
    and employees — this is already causing a wider storm and will have an impact on lower-paid creative freelancers as it does not take into account that the lower rate of self-employed contributions is there to compensate freelancers for the lack of employment benefits enjoyed by PAYE staff including paid holidays and sick leave.

We are considering a response by letter on behalf of our members.


The UK HE sector needs to push forward proposals for a targeted sector deal for post-Brexit research and HE which might include remaining within the EU’s research structures and targeted post-Brexit post-study pathways.

An EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee Inquiry published 6 March, UK-EU Movement of People, has concluded that Offering preferential treatment to EU nationals compared to non-EU nationals in the UK’s future immigration regime could increase the likelihood of securing reciprocal preferential treatment for UK nationals in the EU and improve the prospects achieving the UK’s objectives on access to the Single Market.

According to the THES, nearly a third of respondents to a recent YouGov survey carried out in early January for the UK’s University and College Union said that they already knew of academics leaving the UK, while 44 per cent knew scholars who had lost access to funding as a direct result of Brexit. Among European Union nationals working in the UK, more than three-quarters stated that they were more likely to consider leaving UK higher education since the referendum. This level of discontent is borne out by a more recent Times Higher Education online poll. The same survey asked about the HE Bill which showed not only considerable scepticism regarding TEF but also concerns that the combined effect of Brexit and the opening of HE to global competition is likely to have a negative effect on the sector.

It is vital, therefore, that we join other specialised sectors of the UK economy in setting out our platform for a targeted deal. CHEAD will be taking input from our members at the first of two roundtables at #CHEAD2017 — the second will be announced shortly.

Brexit and Devolution

The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee has launched an inquiry into Brexit and devolution investigating channels of meaningful engagement between the devolved administrations during negotiations on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

Accepting written submissions | deadline 27 April 2017.

Other sector news and initiatives:

  • The Creative Industries Federation (CIF) announced Rick Haythornthwaite, a long-standing supporter of the arts and creative industries, as its new Chair from next month. Haythornthwaite recently stepped down from the Board of the South Bank Centre and is currently Chairman of Mastercard International and Centrica.
  • Findings from the Crafts Council’s regional networking events. This feedback will provide a context to the new strategic plan for the  Crafts Council and, it is hoped, to other key players and funders.
  • According to Arts Professional, Creative Scotland warns of cuts to Regular Funding because of pressures on the Scottish Government.
  • Eleven areas bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 — The Heritage Lottery Fund has today committed £3 million to the holder of the UK City of Culture title from 2021 onwards to boost local heritage.
  • Leading figures from Welsh culture gathered at the Wales Office on 6 March to celebrate Welsh achievements in creative life. Hosted by Alun Cairns, the Secretary of State for Wales, the gathering was told that Welsh culture represents a fantastic shop window for the world.
  • Design Research Funding Landscape is a survey being conducted as part of an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Design Leadership Fellowship to understand better how Design research is currently supported (including, but not limited to, the AHRC). Findings from the survey will inform the Design Leadership Fellowship work with the Design research community and the Research Councils in the UK.
  • APDIG is launching a report Behaviour and the Built Environment showing how placing the behaviour of people at the heart of the built environment directly contributes to better design principles.
  • The video is part of the D&T Association’s ongoing “Designed and Made in Britain…?” campaign highlighting the challenges to design and technology education. For more information about the campaign, and to sign the campaign petition, please click here.

CHEAD’s Spring Agenda in Brief

  • CHEAD2017, 15/16 March, Edinburgh
  • Brexit Manifesto Consultations 15 March and second TBC
  • Budget response TBC
  • TEF metrics workshops 16 March and 24 May
  • REF 2 response, 17 March
  • New DLHE, 7 April
  • Industrial Strategy response, 17 April
  • Membership and Network Meeting 24 May, London

And much, much more! We know our members are working flat-out to meet the challenges facing the art, design and creative media HE sector this year but Spring is on the way and, with it, CHEAD2017 — we hope to see you there!

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