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UCA launches Institute of Creativity and Innovation

The UCA’s Institute for Creativity and Innovation (ICI) opened its doors in China on 10 September, a new partnership venture from University for the Creative Arts, positioning itself to take advantage of the increasing appetite for creativity in higher education in China.

Institute for Creativity and Innovation logo

UCA has joined forces with Xiamen University to establish this unique model for an international educational partnership. The Institute will be a showcase for UCA's - and the UK’s - world-renowned expertise in both creativity and teaching, in one of the world’s most fast-growing education markets.

This sets a precedent in UK-China educational collaboration according to Simon Macklin, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Portfolio Development & Global Engagement) who was part of the project team at the University for the Creative Arts.

“We wanted to go beyond the idea of a branch campus to offer Chinese students something new - the chance to learn a new way of creative thinking. The UK is recognized worldwide as an incubator for innovative thinking and this partnership allows us to bring those skills and experience to a new generation of Chinese students and help prepare them to compete globally.”

As UK universities face the challenges created by the global pandemic, including reduced numbers of international students in the UK, UCA is forging new relationships in key world markets to leverage our expertise and experience.

The project echoes the Chinese Government’s own recognition of the growing role of creativity and innovation: the ‘Creative & Digital Sector’ was specified as one of the priority industries in China’s 13th National Five-Year Plan (2016-2020). British Council statistics show that 1,691,333 bachelor’s degree students enrolled on arts-based course in 2019, which is 9.7% of total HE enrolments in China.

The project was spearheaded by UCA’s President & Vice-Chancellor Professor Bashir Makhoul and will see UK-based UCA academics will travel to China to teach an English-language syllabus, structured around the UCA UK learning programme. Four courses are on offer for the first intake: BA (Hons) Digital Media Technology, BA (Hons) Visual Communication Design, BA (Hons) Advertising, and BA (Hons) Environmental Design.

As well as offering innovation across a number of undergraduate subjects, the University also plans to set a precedent for research, focusing on the pivotal and increasingly influential role played by creativity and innovation in terms of soft-power and economic growth in world markets.