Welcome note

Welcome to our blog, covering the Design Council / HEFCE fact finding visit to Europe.
As part of the process to develop and implement recommendations from the
'Cox Review of Creativity in Business', and following a successful mission to the US in 2006, a group of academics and policy makers are visiting universities and design firms the Netherlands, Denmark and Finland. We were looking at multidisciplinary centres and courses that combine management, technology and design in order to develop creative and innovative graduates and businesses. Insights and information from the visit will inform proposals that UK universities and regional bodies are developing in response to the Cox review.

Monday, 17 September 2007

Alice Frost

The main impact to me to date is in relation to the contrast between national experience and globalisation. An argument would be that Netherlands, as example, will not be competitive. The HE system isn’t focussed on efficiency and open access and open lengths of study mean that graduate/ug production would fall well behind US. Also the form of study seems relatively old-fashioned compared with US. Given that these are fairly homogenous societies, this doesn’t seem a good basis for comparative advantage in a global market. But companies like Philips, but also IDEO, Apple etc in US all focus on human factors ie corporate competitive advantage comes from getting into their heads of sophisticated consumers and satisfying inner needs, desires etc. so the emphasis is on micro-observation in the socio-cultural context. And maybe then there is a source of comparative advantage in the Netherlands HE system – human centred and group focussed, strong on human factors, strong on fundamentals.

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