Commercial push by universities may damage

I’m writing in response to the ongoing debate in your magazine about universities undermining design consultancies by offering commercial product design services, and in particular your piece last week (News, DW 11 September).

This latest article perfectly highlights the problems we face as professional consultancies from the very institutions that we trained in or source our employees from.

How can we ‘educate’ these institutions not to bite the hand that (often) feeds?

As champions of professional, quality design that derives from the stresses of working in a commercial, competitive environment and many years of experience in our chosen fields, it is frustrating and annoying when we discover that we are often pitching against undergraduate or graduate programmes from nearby universities, which undercut us on price.

Whatever happened to mentoring and secondment? Where is the respect and support for our profession?


Steve Scott, Lavahouse, by e-mail



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  • Emma O'Brien November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I think that any University that gives its students the vital experience that is required to actually secure a job once they have graduated needs to be applauded.

    As for providing an inferior service; if the client is aware that they are paying for ‘trainees’ as such then the work will often reflect the price. If I want a better quality of t-shirt, I don’t shop in Primark.

    Universities should be treated like any other form of competition, you could not complain if an independent consultancy started business next door.

    Treat student’s with the respect they deserve and let them grab any opportunity they are presented with; they will be designing and creating long after you have gone.

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