Education should be an enriching experience

Janice Kirkpatrick’s Private View Educating the institution (DW 23 January) was a refreshing read. – As one who has been involved in art and design higher education for many years at one of Scotland’s leading art colleges, I often despair at the outbursts

Janice Kirkpatrick’s Private View Educating the institution (DW 23 January) was a refreshing read.

As one who has been involved in art and design higher education for many years at one of Scotland’s leading art colleges, I often despair at the outbursts directed towards us as providers of training who have little or no understanding of the real world.

We have no desire to adopt the assembly line mentality held by many of the professionals. Our business has always been learning (for life). Here in Dundee we have always believed in the fullest possible engagement between education and the design business. We make the effort to seek fruitful, meaningful partnerships with the best in the business.

How many design professionals understand (or care about) the mandatory Teaching Quality Assessments or Research Assessment exercises imposed by our funding councils. Processes upon which our funding depends.

Things may seem desperate, but we haven’t compromised our values and hold true to the rich experience art and design education provides for its own sake, despite the posturing of others.

Sadly, the points made by Janice Kirkpatrick are likely to continue to fall on deaf ears.

Bill Barr

Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design

University of Dundee

Dundee DD1 4HT

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