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0 Executive Summary


0.1.1 The CHEAD Information Technology Survey (1995) focused on the numbers of computers in art & design units within HEIs and quantified a perceived shortage of equipment.

0.1.2 This report is an attempt to assess the situation at the end of 1996 and to discuss strategic options for the next three to five years, based upon interviews in sample HEIs.

0.1.3 It describes the specific features of art & design education relevant to this report.

0.1.4 It recognises an increasing trend towards greater integration, harmonisation and collaboration in society at large and HE in particular.

0.1.5 It summarises the roles assigned artists and designers in both the Technology Foresight programme and the Info 2000 Programme.

0.1.6 It notes a number of new projects located in art & design units which have emanated from the funding councils since 1995.

0.1.7 It finds that since 1995 there has been a further decline in capital funding for computer technology in art & design.

0.1.8 It finds little motivation for developing modules using the technology because of a lack of suitable computers for students to use.

0.1.9 It finds that a majority of institutions had completed the installation of network cabling for art & design staff and IT teaching areas, but not all institutions had done so.

0.1.10 It finds that the provision of network data points is often a separate exercise from the provision of workstations and there is typically little coordination between these two activities.

0.1.11 It finds that, on average, the provision of networking to the desktop is best within specialist colleges. Within universities, it is better if the art & design unit is located on the same site as central computing services or the computer science department.

0.1.12 It finds that a number of university based units felt that they did not receive sufficient benefits from the centralised provision of computing and communication services in their institution.

0.1.13 It finds that information strategies are frequently seen by the art and design unit as an attempt to normalise art and design practices with the rest of the institution.

0.1.14 It finds a strong belief that, while employment opportunities in the European "media industries" are growing, art and design students in the UK are falling behind some countries with respect to the provision of appropriate computing and communications facilities.

0.1.15 It finds that having technical/professional computing positions accountable to the head of art and design was the most significant factor in implementing an effective strategy for computing and communications in art & design.

0.1.16 It finds that research funding continues to be difficult to obtain for artists and designers and the positive contribution they could make to interdisciplinary research is not recognised.

0.1.17 It finds that there are opportunities for funding in Europe, but UK art & design institutions are poorly prepared to take advantage of them.

0.1.18 It includes 8 recommendations for institutions who wish to develop strategies for the efficient and effective use of computer and communications technologies in art & design.