The Grimsby Institute for Continuing and Higher Education became the first winner of the CLA Award “Outstanding Quality in Support of Creativity” at this year’s AoC Beacon Awards.
The annual awards, held by the Association of Colleges, showcase best practices in the UK further education sector. CLA is a proud sponsor of the award, dedicated to equipping students with the skills and knowledge needed to become confident creatives.
At the heart of the GIFHE app was their “creative campus” sign. Everyone The campus area is seen as a creative learning space, and all areas of the curriculum are encouraged to create stimulating and attractive campus facilities. Students are actively involved in creating ideas for campus aesthetics and messaging, and are often involved in the actual production process. During a virtual visit to the Grimsby Institute earlier this year, it was clear that the initiative had had an extremely positive impact. The creative campus helps inspire and motivate GIFHE students: from subject specialist skills to curriculum knowledge, mental health and well-being to college pride.
But how does all this relate to creativity in terms of intellectual property (IP) and copyright?
From discussions with students, it became clear that a creative campus means that copyright conversations permeate every area of the curriculum. For example, a student ambassador studying travel and tourism was able to comment on permits and IPs because of his involvement with campus signs; the college clearly reflects the accreditation of third party content and makes the permissions obtained clear; and students whose works were used for campus signage reported that they were asked for permission, as were “professional artists.” These measures act as small but consistent and profound reminders of the role of IP in the daily life of the college for each college member.
It was clear that the creative initiative of the campus is reviving copyright and intellectual property for the students we met – they said they feel better prepared to protect their IP in employment and understand the value of their own – and the work of others.
The tutors we spoke to remembered that students should be “ready for the real world” – so that students can come to college knowing as to make a video in which they could put music so that it gets a lot of likes, but to work in the creative industries, the results need to be cleaned up in terms of copyright. GIFHE is clearly dedicated to combining talent and skill with knowledge and vigilance.
Students gain access to real creative experts and products. Working with existing brands significantly emphasizes copyright and IP permissions. Creative campus signage allows students to see first-hand the permitting process, which in turn leads to valuable learning points and even ongoing partnerships between the college and third parties such as the NHS and the Highway Agency.
From the CLA’s point of view, what crystallized the impact of all of GIFHE’s work was a discussion with a former student – now a BBC student. They were adamant that their course at GIFHE gave them all the fundamental tools for understanding IP and permissions. When asked to edit footage for the program, they knew what was possible and what was impossible in terms of background characters and brand. They were able to perform in their role and have a clear sense of permission to broadcast. What greater evidence of GIFHE’s work than knowing that their students will become such vital and responsible cogs in the creative industries?
Emma Forrest-Lee, deputy director of the Grimsby Institute for Continuing and Higher Education, reflects on the success of the award
At the Grimsby Institute, we understand that the space in which you study and work can affect how you feel, how you learn, and then how you succeed. Across campus, we use our signage to convey some important information, and by taking a creative approach, we strive to reach a wider audience with guiding graphics that engage hearts and minds. As a creative team working hand in hand with informed, well-educated and ready-to-work students, we are truly proud of what we have achieved, and this nationwide recognition is the icing on the cake. Creativity is a special spark that can enrich all of us, which needs to be nurtured and encouraged. If we can inspire others to use creativity to enrich their spaces and signage, then we have a heritage to be proud of.
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