Scottish universities show creative resilience to deal with COVID-19 disruption

The University of the Highlands and Islands together with Edinburgh Napier University, and thirteen universities across Scotland have come together to produce a first of a kind digital programme for their students studying in creative programmes.

see full size image
Illustration of an online event

Over 700 students joined a live event ‘The new creative normal: adapting to ongoing changes in the creative sector’ on Wednesday 13 May 2020.  

 The programme included four distinct online sessions focused on music, theatre, TV and screen, journalism and publishing. Echoed throughout the day, was the message that now is the time to think about what you can do and not to focus on what you can’t do.

Speakers offered honest and positive advice, encouraging the students to think differently, take the reins, be bold and creative, try new things and develop skills. These innovative and fresh approaches will all be part of reimagining the way we do things in the ‘new normal’.   

Alex Smith, Project Manager at XpoNorth said:

“We’re pleased to continue to develop our strategic relationship with the innovative team at the University of the Highlands and Islands and extend this footprint across broader academic networks across Scotland.

“Transitioning from higher education into the commercial creative sectors can be challenging at the best of times, and under this new context, the immediate and long-range pathways are sure to undergo significant changes.

“As this is a highly agile situation, it’s incredibly exciting to see these new models and entry points surface. It’s fantastic to have such a diverse range of high-level participants taking part in this important conversation, offering an excellent opportunity for the students to gain an invaluable insight into how the industry is responding to the current pandemic and looking towards the future.”

Claire Bee, chair of the Association of Graduates Career Advisory Service - creative industries interest group and an employer engagement partner at the school of arts and creative industries at Edinburgh Napier University, shared her delight in what was accomplishment in such a short space of time:

“We were all delighted to have had such a positive engagement from both industry and students.  The creative group worked collaboratively to produce an amazing industry line up and engage with so many students. 

“We really appreciate the time that industry experts have taken to participate in these webinars and following on from the success of today we hope to collaborate on future projects both online and in person in the future.”

Katie Masheter, Curriculum Development Employer Engagement Officer for the creative industries at the University of the Highlands and Islands added:

“It was good to hear speakers today reiterate the importance of engaging with the careers and employability teams at each university.   We are here to offer advice and support to students looking to cultivate skills, such as communication, collaboration, creativity and adaptability, to be ready to seize opportunities.

“Significant global forces are driving change, and this event is just one example of how universities across Scotland are adapting and working together to ensure we continue to feed the curiosity and imagination of our students.  So, whatever the future holds, our students can confidently build their professional networks and skills”.