Colleges determined despite funding cuts

I was interested by your article Dearing to be different (DW 30 May). – Yes, full time staff at colleges across the country are angry and fed up as they struggle to maintain standards and students are angry in the face of cuts in their funding, but they a

I was interested by your article Dearing to be different (DW 30 May).

Yes, full time staff at colleges across the country are angry and fed up as they struggle to maintain standards and students are angry in the face of cuts in their funding, but they and their tutors are also determined to succeed.

The efforts of the D&AD and the Society of Chartered Designers to understand, support and nurture courses is appreciated, but it will take time to stop the erosion and begin to rebuild.

However, contrary to all the recent stories about declining standards and increasing numbers, some courses, including Kingston’s, have worked hard to maintain good part-time staff input and to keep student numbers at reasonable levels. It has also always been our aim to introduce new blood into our teaching programme which is crucial to balance and augment the diminishing full-time input. The recent government ruling relating to early retirements though, has meant that many senior staff are leaving more abruptly than would otherwise have been the case, leaving gaps that will take time to fill.

Despite all this, thoughtful, talented young people who recognise that design is an increasingly competitive and tough world, are still accepting the challenge and choosing art and design for their future careers. They remain, like the staff who teach them, confident and optimistic about the future of British design internationally.

Penny Hudd

Head, School of Graphic Design

Kingston University

Surrey KT1

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