Applications for art and design courses drop by more than a quarter

The number of applications to creative arts and design university courses starting next September have dropped by 27.1 per cent.

This compares to a 7.9 per cent decline in applications across all courses, according to new figures from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service.

University fees for undergraduate courses could rise to up to £9000 a year from next year, following changes to the higher-education funding system.

The new Ucas statistics show the number of applications for university courses received by 15 October, which is the deadline for medicine, dentistry and veterinary courses as well as all Oxford and Cambridge courses. Therefore the majority of applicants surveyed are for these courses.

Creative arts and design has seen one of the biggest drops among the subject groups, with only mass communications and documentation (down 40.6 per cent) and education (down 30.4 per cent) seeing further drops.

A report earlier this month from universities representative organisation Universities UK showed that the number of UK creative art and design students had grown by nearly a quarter since 2003/4.

Meanwhile figures last month from the Higher Education Statistics Agency show that more than a third of art and design graduates are still without a full-time job more than three years after graduation.

This report led industry figures to suggest measures such as integrating a year in industry into design courses to address the issue of graduate unemployment.

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  • David Bartholomew November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    We’ve been producing too many design graduates for too many years.

    This drop is a good thing is it means fewer graduates, but higher quality graduates, more of whom will be able to get jobs.

  • karen morton November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    integrating time in industry into design courses is a good thing. Preparing a portfolio of work for your degree does not give students any real concept of what it is like to work to commercial deadlines. It is also worth students and colleges keeping up with trends in technology and the tools that are necessary in the commercial world to shape their art fit for purpose. Technology does not the designer make. Can a great designer really be one without being able to draw? Can a great designer be that without creative originality? And, how many great ‘designers’ are actually as great as the team that work with them? Graduates – can you photoshop (this is not a silly question)? If the answer is no and you want an agency job then I suggest you start working on it. If you are good and working to great or you are great right now we have positions available at Oxbow so why not call us on 01243 788878.

  • Anthony Sully November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I graduated in interior design in 1962 from a class of 6. I started lecturing in 1976 with class sizes of about 12 (ideal size) until about mid 1980’s when the applications to design courses began to increase and we in turn enrolled more students because the quality was there. From the early 90’s we were instructed to aim for target figures never mind the quality, and that policy has persisted to this day. Added to this is the unethical search by universities for more non EU students simply because they pay huge fees much more than UK students. English students are in a minority so we can no longer speak about an educational provision as though it is for our own UK students. If we now resource universities for a majority of foreign students where is the benefit to this country?

  • riddlywalker November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Useless to speculate if you have the Wrong Date- Art and design courses do not recruit in October- their deadline was 15th Jan 2012 for courses starting in 2012.
    So, hysterical and plain stupid- let’s see what happens in january shall we?

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