Television students videoing
musicians, audio producers designing sound for animators,
photographers working with journalists; collaboration and teamwork
are the hallmarks of the Westminster brand – that’s the reaction of
Sally Feldman, dean of the School of Media, Arts and Design to the
news that the University of Westminster is part of the world’s
first Media
Academy Network.

University of Westminster flag

The Network, a national grouping of
universities and colleges, is working with industry to develop a
new wave of UK talent to create the Facebook, YouTube and Bebo-type concepts and
media content of the future.

Launched yesterday by Culture Secretary James
Purnell MP and Skills Minister David Lammy MP, the network has been
devised by Skillset – the UK Sector Skills Council for the
audiovisual industries.

The Westminster Skillset Media Academy,
comprised of the University and City of Westminster College, is one of
17 nationally, drawing together creative education partnerships
from 43 universities and colleges across the UK.

All the institutions in the network are
already centres of excellence in television production and
interactive media.

University of Westminster Vice-Chancellor
Professor Geoffrey Petts said: “This is the first attempt anywhere
in the world to ‘hardwire’ collaborative partnerships between the
media industries and academia into the fabric of the national
education infrastructure.

“It is fitting therefore that the University
of Westminster, a pioneer in creative industry studies, should be
involved in the creation of the Skillset Media Academy
Network.”

Secretary of State for Culture, Media and
Sport, James Purnell MP said: “The collaboration between Skillset,
industry and higher and further education must be applauded for its
strategic thinking, insight and commitment in establishing the
Skillset Media Academy Network.

“The partnership will guarantee a continuous
flow of talent, creativity and business ideas to fully exploit the
opportunities of the digital age.”

The network will see academics, content
creators, computer games developers, software programmers and
creative artists working with industry to develop talent,
creativity and business ideas to exploit new technologies and
opportunities in broadcast television and interactive media.

Head of the University’s Department of
Journalism and Mass Communication Peter Goodwin, said: “We’re
delighted that the creative industries have recognised the valuable
contribution that higher education makes to their continued
success. We at Westminster look forward with excitement to working
with them in the future and to forging partnerships within this new
network.”

Dean of School Sally Feldman said:
“Collaboration, creativity and teamwork are the hallmarks of the
Westminster brand, which have won it recognition from the
audio-visual industry.”

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