Universities are key to training for global design challenges

Your magazine’s Professional Development supplement (DW 26 February) raised some very interesting points.

When conditions are tough, most of us hardly notice cuts in training budgets – we question the return on investment and see time away from fee- generation as too costly. But then we risk losing the chance to build competitiveness in areas where there are shortfalls in knowledge, such as sustainability.

Many Indian and Chinese designers have recognised the value of developing their design skills at UK universities. I fear designers here may be at risk of missing out.

Universities have a lot to offer in embedding a culture of continuing professional development at reasonable cost. And for those who left university years ago, it need not be a case of going back.

Increasing numbers of design professionals are choosing to develop their skills in this way and I would encourage others to do so.

Caroline Norman, MA Design Management course director, Birmingham Institute of Art and Design, by e-mail

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