Posted Wednesday 8 March 2023
Kingston University Vice-Chancellor Professor Steven Spier has been appointed as a member of the Creative Industries Council – the joint industry and government forum that acts as a voice for the United Kingdom's creative sector.
The driving force behind the University's award-winning Future Skills campaign, which champions the need for skills for innovation and the vital role they play in a thriving national economy, Professor Spier is the only university vice-chancellor to currently sit on the Council.
Co-chaired by Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer MP and former ITV chair Sir Peter Bazalgette, the Council brings together leading figures from across the creative sector and digital industries with ministers from key government departments. Its aims include overcoming barriers to growth, focusing on such areas as access to finance, export markets, skills, regulation and intellectual property,
Members also include chief executives and managing directors from organisations such as Channel 4, Arts Council England, Innovate UK, the British Film Institute, the British Fashion Council, BBC Film Studios, Apple and the Advertising Association, who make their contributions through a number of working groups and initiatives.
Alongside his new role on the Creative Industries Council, which he was appointed to by Secretary of State Michelle Donelan MP, Professor Spier is currently a member of the Arts and Humanities Research Council, which funds outstanding original research across the arts and humanities.
Since the launch of the University's Future Skills campaign two years ago, he has been at the forefront of calls for a unified approach across government, business and universities to embed the skills most valued by industry – such as problem solving, creative thinking and adaptability – across higher education.
Last autumn, Professor Spier was called to give evidence to the House of Lords Communications and Digital select committee as part of an inquiry examining the future of the creative industries in the United Kingdom. During his appearance, he highlighted the Creative Industries Council as a model of good practice that could be replicated to ensure all students graduated with the skills needed to future-proof the economy.
"The Creative Industries Council is an exemplar of the impact that can be achieved by bringing industry leaders together with government to collaborate in addressing some of the country's key workforce challenges," Professor Spier said. "Its vision and influence sets the standard for cross-departmental working that has a vital role to play in driving change to ensure the United Kingdom retains its position as a global leader in the creative industries.
"I'm looking forward to contributing to that work, particularly in respect to ways the country's graduates can be better equipped with both skills and real-world experience to meet the rapidly evolving needs of businesses and industry from the outset of their careers."
From this September, future skills will become a core part of teaching on every course and in every year of students' degree programmes at Kingston University. This progressive new model of education forms a key element of the University's Town House Strategy.
A widely published academic, Professor Spier is an expert in contemporary Swiss architecture and in ballet choreography as a form of spatial organisation. He has close affiliations with a number of cultural institutions. A founding director of Architecture and Design Scotland, he was named honorary fellow of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland and of the German Bund Deutscher Architekten (BDA) in recognition of his services to architectural education. He was previously a long-serving board member of Scottish Ballet and also sat on the board of Glasgow-based production house Cryptic.