University of Derby celebrated for contributing to the UK’s creative excellence

13 January 2022

University of Derby graduate and honorand Paul Cummins MBE has been recognised as one of the UK’s greatest creative hits, alongside BAFTA-winning film writers, award-winning children’s authors, and global rockstars.

Paul, who created Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red, the Tower of London exhibition featuring 888,246 ceramic poppies to mark the centenary of the start of the First World War, has been nominated as one of more than 100 “Creative Sparks” from UK universities who are being honoured to showcase the importance of the creative industries and to celebrate the immense contribution of UK universities to the sector.

The nomination comes as new research conducted by Savanta ComRes for Universities UK shows that UK parents are strongly in favour of university creative courses, with more than two thirds (69 per cent) saying that creative courses are vital for powering the UK’s creative industries and nearly two thirds (65 per cent) saying that they benefit the UK economy.

But there are fears that this contribution could now be under threat, with two thirds (67 per cent) of UK parents acknowledging that creative industries have suffered greatly as a result of the pandemic.

In response, Universities UK has launched the Creative Sparks #MadeAtUni campaign to showcase the creativity found at UK universities like the University of Derby and to encourage the government to promote and support the importance of creativity and creative courses.

Professor Kathryn Mitchell CBE DL, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University of Derby, said: “We are very proud that Derby graduate and honorand Paul Cummins MBE has been recognised as part of this campaign. He is just one example of how our university is helping to produce the much-needed talent, innovation, and skills required for the UK’s creative industries to prosper and for the nation to recover post-pandemic.”

Alistair Jarvis CBE, Chief Executive, Universities UK said: “Universities are places where creative ideas flourish, where innovation happens, and where businesses employing thousands of people are started. They’re where the nation’s creative sparks are ignited.”

Other Creative Sparks include:

Find out more about the Creative Sparks #MadeAtUni campaign. 

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