A second year of funding for Creative Spark: Higher Education Programme has been announced by the British Council today.
Creative Spark: Higher Education Enterprise Programme, a five-year initiative that began in 2018, will fund a further 12 international partnerships between universities and creative institutions. Each partnership will receive a maximum of £40,000.
The programme aims to develop enterprise skills and the creative economy across seven countries in Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan), South Caucasus (Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia) and Ukraine through UK support. The primary beneficiaries are university students, graduates and young entrepreneurs.
Creative Spark has been developed in response to an underdeveloped creative sector and a skills gap in these countries. The UN has previously recognised the creative economy as being one of the most rapidly growing sectors of the world economy. Creative industries are also expected to add nearly one million jobs to the UK economy by 2030.
The programme focuses on three areas to give young people improved access to access international networks, markets and resources:
- development of partnerships between universities and creative institutions in the UK and those in programme countries
- delivering enterprise skills training packages to students and creative entrepreneurs - ranging from pitching ideas and starting a business, to protecting intellectual property and securing financial support
- delivering an English Programme with a range of digital language learning content. This will include digital learning platforms, online courses and new Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) courses focused on English for entrepreneurship.
Last year the British Council funded 38 Creative Spark partnerships involving three from Azerbaijan. Partnerships underway include:
- Azerbaijan State University of Culture and Arts, and YARAT Contemporary Arts Space with Gradcore and University of Arts London (UAL)
- Azerbaijan University of Architecture and Construction with London South Bank University and ChangeSchool
- Centre for Analysis of Economic Reforms and Communication with Newcastle University
Commenting on the launch, Richard Everitt, Director Education and Society, Wider Europe, British Council said:
“Creative Spark aims to provide thousands of young people with enterprise skills and the ability to start their own business. This funding opportunity will strengthen educational and cultural ties between all countries involved.”