International collaboration between English cultural and Higher Education Institutions

Arts Council England (ACE) appointed SQW in 2018 to undertake research into the crossover between the work of English cultural organisations and higher education institutions (HEIs). The research had a specific focus on international collaboration, to source examples of activity and examine what ACE, and others, could do to promote closer working between HEIs and cultural organisations.  It looked at a wide range of collaborations from HE theatre and creative courses with international links and curricula, to cutting edge research that creates new forms of dialogue with communities and professionals from different countries worldwide. 

The research considered four key questions:

  • What international activities are UK HEIs currently undertaking in the fields of art and culture?
  • To what extent are ACE supported organisations engaging with the international work of UK HEIs? And what opportunities are there for further, or better, levels of engagement?
  • What business models may be suitable vehicles for collaborations between UK HEIs and ACE supported organisations?
  • What support is needed by funded organisations who wish to develop closer working relationships with UK HEIs on international projects?

This research has found evidence of strong collaborations between English HEIs and cultural organisations, with some positive instances of this activity having an international dimension. The focus of collaborative activity ranges from support for civic agendas associated with place-making and sustainability, to provision of opportunities for students studying at HEIs through to longer-term research partnerships. This research revealed that research activities which are HEI led, with essential contributions from cultural organisations as a secondary partner, were especially constructive.

The report can be downloaded here.