Northern Ireland news

Derry Girls writer Lisa McGee joins campaign to promote creative university degrees

Each university has nominated a leading figure in national cultural life, with nominees including Lisa McGee

DERRY Girls screenwriter Lisa McGee is among leading figures in cultural life campaigning to promote arts degrees.

Nearly two-thirds of parents feel that creative university courses benefit the economy, research has revealed.

Difficulties faced by creative industries has prompted universities to launch a campaign championing the contributions made by creative subjects.

In response, Universities UK has launched a campaign, Creative Sparks, to promote the support of creative arts courses to the government.

Each university has nominated a figure in national cultural life, including Ms McGee and comedian Nish Kumar.

Alistair Jarvis, chief executive of Universities UK, said: "Our universities, creative education and brilliant academics are central to the UK's creative excellence and vital to the success of our creative industries.

"They are the engine room of so many things that make the UK the envy of the world, including our music, films, TV programmes and video games.

"Universities are places where creative ideas flourish, where innovation happens, and where businesses employing thousands of people are started.

Other nominated `Sparks' include the musician Laura Mvula, Bob The Builder and PAW Patrol creator Keith Chapman, and Cressida Cowell, author of How To Train Your Dragon.

Mr Chapman said: "If the government wants our creative industries to remain the best in the world, they must show they understand how important creative courses are to their success."

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