Report calls for more Government support of multi-disciplinary design education

The multi-disciplinary Design Network – a network of academics from universities across the country – is calling for greater Government support for multi-disciplinary design education, including closer integration of design to science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects.

The network – which was set up by the Design Council in 2006 and is supported by the Higher Education Funding Council and the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts – has published its Multi-disciplinary Design Education in the UK report.

The report says, ‘Current emphasis on and investment in Stem subjects in universities provides a great opportunity to fully embed design tools, techniques and capabilities into teaching and research.’ The Government recently announced that while funding to higher education will be cut by 40 per cent over the next four years, Stem subjects would be exempt from these cuts.

The report also recommends that the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills should develop a strategy to support and extend the adoption of multi-disciplinary design education in the UK, the network itself should continue, and that detailed research should be undertaken to assess the impact of multi-disciplinary education in design, business and the Stem subjects.

The report says, ‘Other global economies, such as South Korea or China, are already heavily investing in multi-disciplinary design education infrastructure. If the UK is to remain the world’s leader in design, science, engineering and innovation it needs to create a greater level of support for multi-disciplinary design education at policy level.’

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