13 January 2022

The arts and creative industries play a significant role in the lives of millions of people across the UK, from providing exciting employment opportunities to raising awareness of important cultural issues.

Launching on Thursday 13 January 2022, UK Universities 'Creative Sparks #MadeAtUni' campaign celebrates the collective contribution that universities across the UK play in supporting the sector, nurturing creative talent and helping the nation to deliver creative excellence on a global scale.

Creative Sparks represent some of the UK's greatest creative hits. Joining BAFTA-winning film writers, award-winning children’s authors and global rock stars are fashion students from the University of East London (UEL), who showcased their talents in an innovative collaboration with Covet Fashion, creating designs for the leading fashion gaming app and its 2.5 million active monthly users.

The project has been selected as one of more than 100 'Creative Sparks' from UK universities who are being honoured to showcase the importance of the creative industries and to celebrate the immense contribution of UK universities to the sector.

The Creative Sparks celebration comes as new research conducted by Savanta ComRes for Universities UK shows that UK parents are strongly in favour of university creative courses, with more than two thirds (69 per cent) saying that creative courses are vital for powering the UK's creative industries and nearly two thirds (65 per cent) saying that they benefit the UK economy.

But there are fears that this contribution could now be under threat, with two thirds (67 per cent) of UK parents acknowledging that creative industries have suffered greatly as a result of the pandemic.

In response, Universities UK the Creative Sparks #MadeAtUni campaign seeks to showcase the creativity found at UK universities like UEL and to encourage the government to promote and support the importance of creativity and creative courses.

Professor Amanda Broderick, vice-chancellor and president of the University, said: "The old adage that 'science can help us live to 100, but the arts make us want to' is reflected in the UK's £115billion-strong creative industries sector pre-Covid. Universities are helping to produce flourishing talent with the skills, experience and pioneering thinking required for the UK's creative industries to thrive and for the nation to recover post-pandemic."

Alistair Jarvis CBE, Chief Executive, Universities UK said, "Universities are places where creative ideas flourish, where innovation happens, and where businesses employing thousands of people are started. They're where the nation’s creative sparks are ignited."

On the Covet Fashion and UEL collaboration, Beatrice Newham, head of UEL’s fashion team, said, "The industry is evolving fast, and our students need to understand and experience how they might be connecting with customers in their future careers.

"The collaboration with Covet Fashion was a huge success. With its challenges and rewards, Covet Fashion has come up with an innovative way of creating engagement by blending social media and fashion brands. Having the opportunity to work alongside some of the biggest names in the industry was an amazing experience for our fashion students."

To find out more about getting a degree in fashion at UEL, go to our course pages.

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