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Higher Education and the Creative Economy

University of Southampton, Southampton, UK
22 March 2010 00:00 - 23 March 2010 00:00

The conference aims to explore issues and research questions emerging in both academic and policy arenas in reference to the relationship between Higher Education and the Creative Economy.
While the literature recognise the role of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in local and regional development and their importance in reference to human capital, very little attention has been devoted to the way HEIs contribute to creative economy locally and nationally.

The event aims to be a platform to debate the knowledge and research available in this field and discuss the potential development of the role of HEI as the creative economy becomes central to the UK economic development. It aims to be multidisciplinary and to involve researchers, academics, practitioners and policy makers at regional, national and international level. 

The key research questions that the network aims to address are:

  • What is role of HEIs in developing human capital (graduates) for the creative economy?
  • The importance of ‘creative’ skills is becoming increasingly vital in our post-industrial economies, but how do ‘creative graduates’ perform in the economy? What kind of skills and experiences are valued by the creative job market? How are universities developing their curricula in order to address these issues?
  • What is the relationship between human capital and the creative economy? The interaction between the concept of human capital and the creative economy is underexplored. The concept of ‘creative class’ has tried to provide an answer to relationship between the importances of creative skills in the local economy as complementary to the role of higher education. What are the evidences in favour of one theoretical framework or the other? What value does HEIs add to the ‘creative economy’?
  • What is the broader impact HEIs in the creative economy? The impact and interconnections between HEIs and the creative economy do not simply relate to human capital development but can be understood in a broader perspective which includes physical infrastructures within HEIs hosting and supporting creative companies, knowledge transfer and many other forms of partnerships and engagement.

 The key topics addressed by the event represent an interesting ground for debate and knowledge sharing. While there has been limited attention towards the topic from the academic community, policy makers have pointed out the role of HE in the creative economy and the importance of human capital development in this field to support the economic growth of this sector in UK and Europe (DCMS, 2006) 

Attending the conference

Whether presenting a paper or simply attending the conference you will need to register for the conference via the website: and send it via post with enclosed payment (cheques only*) to: Dr. R Comunian, School of Geography, University of Southampton, Highfield Campus, SO17 1BJ

Attendance fees include conference materials, coffee breaks over the two days, conference dinner (22nd of March) and lunch on the 23rd of March:
£ 80 Full fees
£ 40 Reduced fees (for students, early career researchers and members of staff of the organising universities**)

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