Out in the cold despite calls for industry links

9th November 2007 at 00:00

I am a graphic designer with over 24 years' industry experience, gained both here in the UK and overseas in at least five countries over the past 17 years.

In an effort to strengthen my options for the future, I have just started a BA open degree through the Open University and applied for professional accreditation through the HE Academy. But I have at least three references from people in education who say that I am "fit for purpose now".

The thing that leaves me baffled is the way people in education treat industry professionals of my level (creative director) with almost total ambivalence.

In the past 18 months, my efforts to secure a position in FE have been hampered in all manner of ways - with the exception of one college in Manchester where I managed to get some work on a temporary basis. Yet in the industry and education trade press over the past two years I have frequently read that education is crying out for experienced people from industry to bring their knowledge into the sector.

These are two of the reasons for rejection I have been given in the past 18 months:

1) You need a PGCE or Certificate of Education to teach. Fair enough, but I couldn't get funding from my local authority because I had been overseas for two of the three years required prior to applying and was therefore treated as an overseas applicant.

2) You need a degree to teach degree level. Perhaps so, but in the North West alone I know of a high percentage of lecturers who don't have a degree yet hold senior positions.

I just don't know what else to do.

Name and address supplied, Bury, Lancashire.

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