Norwich art students among the best prepared for work

Kim BriscoeNorwich's arts and creative students are some of the best-prepared in the country for the world of work, according to a major new study.Kim Briscoe

Norwich's arts and creative students are some of the best-prepared in the country for the world of work, according to a major new study.

Norwich University College of the Arts (NUCA) was one of the 26 UK higher education institutions included in the new study, commissioned by the Institute for Employment Studies, the Council for Higher Education in Art and Design and the University of Arts London.

Between 2008 and 2010 the careers patterns of graduates in art, design, crafts and media subjects qualifying in 2002, 2003 and 2004 were looked at in the largest detailed study of its kind.

The survey reports that creative graduates were broadly satisfied in their working lives and that 90.1pc of NUCA graduates were in permanent employment, compared with 89.2pc in the other institutions.

NUCA graduates scored a higher percentage than students in all other institutions within the survey for preparation for the world of work, as well as the careers advice and information about work opportunities they received - all factors of increasing importance in the current economic climate.

When asked how well their course helped to develop student skills, NUCA scored more highly than those in all other institutions in eight areas including critical thinking, self-management, written communications, collaborating with others and problem solving. NUCA principal Professor John Last said: "In a setting of economic recession, there is recognition that the creative industries occupy a key role in economic recovery and we must ensure that our students are as prepared as they can be when they graduate."

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This is supported by the survey - a higher percentage of NUCA students than from all other institutions found the experience of peer and self evaluation, competitions, shows, exhibitions, teaching by practitioners, field trips, study visits, volunteering, external and live project work within the curriculum of use to have been beneficial.

NUCA graphic design graduate Dan Gladden, 28, said the college's link with a former student had led to him completing a summer internship in New York before his third year, and then led to a full-time job offer there once he had completed his degree.

Mr Gladden, a former Lowestoft College pupil who is now a senior designer for Norwich-based design company The Click, said: "I'm not surprised the art school has done well. I graduated in 2004 and had a really good year group. I have kept in touch with many of them and they have all got good roles and are heading in the right direction."

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