Welcome to the University for the Creative Arts. The future of our university needs to be founded on the extraordinary achievements of its students and staff. Ensuring both have an environment and experience that makes this possible is my single most important objective and providing opportunities for all staff, professional and academic, to realise their potential, to develop and grow is absolutely fundamental to the success of the University.
At what is probably the most challenging time for UK Higher Education, and throughout what will be a very demanding period for UCA, we need to retain the very highest ambitions. We must be guided by our commitment to our students, roles and disciplines; and dedicated to our practice and research. We need to retain our belief in the development of a creative arts university with foundations in the important culture of the UK’s art and design colleges - the five towns in which we are based have had art colleges for about 150 years and we want to preserve this history and core strength.
The current priorities for UCA are very apparent:
- We need to be an international institution that ensures its students and staff have a truly global understanding of their disciplines and their opportunities.
- We need to place great emphasis on the quality and originality of our portfolio and courses, the experience of our students and their future employability.
- Our graduates should find their place at the highest level in their chosen fields - challenging conventions, creating change and providing industries and sectors with what they don’t yet know they need.
- We need to be financially resilient and effective in how we operate, focused on our primary commitment to our students and only putting in place structures and processes that ensure we are able to work creatively.
- We need to generate our research and practice cultures, not only for the Research Excellence Framework but for the stimulus this will provide for the development of our course portfolio, curricula and for our personal and collective curiosity.
- Finally, we need to work toward a total creative arts environment, in which every element serves the purpose of educating our students, ourselves and the world around us.
I look forward to meeting you in the very near future and in the meantime wish you the very best for your first weeks at UCA.