NiTRO Creative Matters

Perspectives on creative arts in higher education

Edition 25, 2019 – DDCA Forum

30 October saw perhaps the largest gathering of tertiary creative arts leadership in DDCA’s history, all brought together around the topics of teaching and graduate employability and measurement and assessment in creative arts research.

Employability is a buzz word and likely to remain so as performance-based funding comes into force, so what is employability in the context of design and the creative arts, and is it beyond the remit of a degree in these disciplines?

Comparisons of the data from the ERA 2010 and ERA2012 made it abundantly clear that a system adapted to measure quality at the discipline-specific level, without a one-size-fits-all approach, is a system that can be manipulated or gamed, usually to the benefit of dominant disciplines.

Entering the fourth industrial revolution poses major challenges for work and life futures. Many studies over the last decade have forecasted that we are entering an era in which digital networks, artificial intelligence, robotics and automation, together with scientific innovation, climate change, changing demographics, and globalisation will fundamentally transform the way we work, live, and learn.

At the DDCA Leadership Forum on 30 October 2019, current board member Professor Julian Goddard, part of the executive since 2015, announced that he would not be standing in 2020. A ballot of members attending was held to approve his replacement for 2020 and Associate Professor Kim Cunio was elected as a member of the DDCA Board.

Many of us are connected with UniSuper already but perhaps one of the driving factors in valuing this connection relates to the ‘in and out’ nature of many artists relationship with academia. Not all creative artists working in academia have full time or long-time positions – some choosing to combine their professional practice with bouts of sessional teaching. This to us underscored the importance of thinking about the longer term planning offered by industry Super funds, and the relevance of UniSuper to our event.