The State of British Arts Education
SOS believes that design should challenge the status quo. For over a decade following the global financial crisis, design has failed to critique existing socio-economic systems it operates within, harboured by an educational system intent on providing consumable education / consumable products. SOS will create an alternative model, inviting students to consider how to challange and provoke the frontiers of 21st century society from outside of the traditional university model.
We are facing a systemic crisis in the Arts. The UK Arts are being continually undervalued as schools and universities slowly dismantle a pedagogical approach that teaches more than narrowly focused professional education. As over-burdened universities move closer to a fully capitalised consumer-style education, the arts have been too easily forgotten as industry and governments lobby for vocational and skills-based courses. Recurrent emphasis on STEM subjects has seen the arts squeezed year on year resulting in a crisis in the creative arts in the UK.
Since the removal of Art and Design from school core subjects, the arts have seen a reduction of up to 32% in some GCSE courses.
– Press Association 2017.
Often perceived as leading to poorer career prospects, the well-rounded advantages of an Arts education are failing to reach BAME and working-class students and their families. In the past decade this has seen universities push a vocational style education, reinforcing STEM subjects and ties to industry - narrowing the intellectual scope of education. The UK is entering a crisis in the creative arts resulting in limiting the pool of talent for creative disciplines at a time when the UK brands itself as a creative industry world-leader.
Yearly state funding in the arts has decreased £100million since 2011
– Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government 2018.
Since 2011 the percentage of students taking a subject in the Arts at A-level has never exceeded 14%
- Ofqual 2016.
Set up to counter highly specialised vocational course, our mission is a belief in the benefit of a rounded education in the arts that promotes self-evaluation and critical thought. Bringing together cutting-edge practitioners in leading cultural institutions, SOS aims to bring the most contemporary debate to students with real ambition to make a shape the future.
SOS is founded on 3 aims that are interdependent from each another. No single aim can be achieved without the integrated support of the other.