Art Schools for Tomorrow: Challenges and Opportunities

Document Type



This item is available under a Creative Commons License for non-commercial use only



Publication Details

Higher Education Management and Policy vol. 16, no. 3, pp135-152, 2004.


Across the OECD, discussions are taking place amongst policymakers, educational managers and educationalists about the future of higher education. More and more is being demanded of higher education at a time when the funds available are shrinking and the costs are rising. Internationalisation and globalisation have transformed the once benign educational market place into a much more competitive environment today. These forces are influencing in a very directive way how individual institutions are organising and managing themselves. Art Schools are not immune from either these developments or challenges. While many have their origin as (and remain) small, independent, publicly (or privately) funded schools, others are entering into formal (and informal) collaborative arrangements sometimes resulting in merger with universities, while others are building upon their enduring “membership” of an interdisciplinary university. Nevertheless, they all share the need to respond to a common set of characteristics and emerging trends of our age, inter alia globalisation and internationalisation; changing demographics and enrolment patterns; technological revolution; stricter regulatory environment; new educational sites and formats; changing nature of the workplace. As HEIs are reorganising and restructuring themselves to meet new economic, political and fiscal priorities, the academy has also come under pressure. Based on a Keynote Address to the IMHE conference, “Managing Art Schools Today” (August 2003), this paper presents an overview of some issues impacting on art schools today and asks how they are responding and trying to shape their future. It will focus on some key management issues, e.g. research, curriculum and organisational models, and suggest some strategic choices.