SmithKline invests in design degree research

SmithKline Beecham has donated ú30 000 to the University of Westminster to carry out market research on setting up a masters degree in design management.

SmithKline Beecham has donated ú30 000 to the University of Westminster to carry out market research on setting up a masters degree in design management.

The course, due to start in February 1996 and open to both design and non-design professionals, was proposed by the university’s senior lecturer in marketing and design management, Sue O’Neil.

SmithKline Beecham’s packaging and process technology department, part of its worldwide technical operations division, is funding the market research, which is planned to start this month.

O’Neil says of SKB’s involvement: “They feel that design management is an important area and US companies believe in investing in the academic community.

“The course is unique as it will have a dual entry objective,” O’Neil adds. “We are aiming at having half the applicants with design backgrounds and the others with non-design backgrounds, principally management.”

The university is planning to take 20 students a year. “It is very important that we have people on the course in employment,” O’Neil comments, to produce a synergy between the business environment and the academic world.

O’Neil is seeking to forge links with universities abroad and has had interest from Scandinavia, France and Holland.

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