Understanding Career Patterns of UK Creative Graduates: Analysing National Data in Relation to the Creative Economy

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In recent years, the role of graduate migration flows in fostering local economic development has become increasingly clear. However, the ability of certain regions in Great Britain to retain skilled individuals and capitalise on the high-skilled workforce generated by local university and higher education institutions has been questioned, especially in consideration of the centrality of London in attracting graduates (Faggian and McCann, 2008). The paper uses micro-individual student data collected by the Higher Education Statistical Agency (HESA) in Great Britain to investigate the education and employment migration patterns of students in arts and design subjects in UK.
The data on graduates retention and migration will question the role of the creative graduates as agents of knowledge spillovers and test the role played by London and the South East – where nearly fifty percent of the current national creative occupations concentrate (Oakley, 2006). While universities are able to attract students in these subjects, it is envisaged that the profile of different cities in reference to their creative industries and cultural infrastructure (Chapain and Comunian, forthcoming) plays a central role in the determining the ability to retain these graduates locally. In order to assess this relation between retention and migration-flows the data will be cross-references with other data and research on the creative profile of different UK cities (Clifton 2008; DCMS & BERR 2008).


Keywords: Creative Industries, Creative Graduates, Graduates Retention, Creative Work
Stream: Arts Policy, Management and Advocacy
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Dr. Roberta Comunian

Lecturer in Human Geography, School of Geography, University of Southampton
Southampton, Hampshire, UK

Roberta Comunian holds a European Doctorate title in Network Economy and Knowledge Management. BA in Communication Studies from the University of Padova (Italy). She has been publishing articles in Italy related to business investment in arts, culture and competitiveness and has been teaching fund raising and cultural planning. She is interested in: relationship between public and private investments in the arts, art and cultural regeneration projects, cultural and creative industries, creativity and competitiveness. She has been visiting researcher at University of Newcastle investigating the relationship between creative industries, cultural policy and public supported art institutions. She now lecturing in Human Geography at the University of Southampton.

Dr. Alessandra Faggian

Reader, School of Geography, University of Southampton
Southampton, Hampshire, UK


Ref: A09P0709