A change of direction from industry to art

Dundee College has increased its full-time art courses by 70 per cent since the start of the millennium. The college now runs 17 full-time programmes across three areas: fine art, visual communication (graphic design) and textile art.

In the performing arts, the number of enrolments in dance and theatre courses doubled between 2001-02 and 2004-05. The number of students studying music also rose by nearly 50 per cent during the same period.

The emphasis on creative arts, media and service industries (beauty and hairdressing, travel and tourism, hospitality and cookery, sport and leisure) is indicative of a change of direction for FE in a post-industrial Scotland, alongside the decline in manufacturing.

"With the city's industrial base showing obvious signs of decline, we opted to offer courses that would interest potential students and offer a real alternative to unemployment," says Grant Ritchie, the assistant principal.

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