The Group for Learning in Art & Design

The Group for Learning in Art and Design (GLAD) was established in 1990. It is a non-affiliated group of academics advocating Art, Design and Media from across higher education institutions plus colleagues from the specialist further education sector.

GLAD’s remit is to engender discussion about best practice in developing the student experience in Art, Design and Media and, in particular, to promote and stimulate debate and consideration of developments in the teaching and learning of the subject.

Meet the Committee


September 2018

GLAD 21st Annual Conference - Friday 7th December 2018

The 21st Annual GLAD Conference will take place on Friday 7th December 2018 at Manchester Metropolitan University.

UNDERNEATH THE METRICS: What is really happening to Art and Design education ?

This year’s conference seeks to dig below the surface of the metrics, to look not only at whole cohorts but also at the individuals, to unearth key issues which our sector faces, including diversity, employability, mental health and the twin challenges of recruitment and retention.  We will be aided by the release of new data, commissioned by GLAD, which analyses trends in recruitment to different disciplines in Art and Design over the last ten years.

24th January 2018

Professor Orr appointed chair of TEF arts subject panel

University of the Arts London (UAL) professor Susan Orr has been appointed Chair for a new pilot Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) subject-level panel for the arts.

The appointment comes following an announcement by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) that fifty providers are this year taking part in a pilot exercise to trial approaches to TEF assessments at subject level.

TEF assessments are carried out by a panel of students, leading academics and widening participation experts. Awarding ratings at subject level, as well as institutional level, will give future applicants more detailed information to inform their choices of where to study.

Prof Susan Orr, Dean of Learning, Teaching & Enhancement at UAL, said: “The Arts Subject Panel Pilot will allow for a more granular subject-based understanding of teaching excellence and it is really important for the sector that we get this right.

“As Chair of the Arts Panel, I will be working with students and staff across the fields of arts, design and performing arts in FE and HE to pilot approaches to subject-level TEF.

“I am delighted to have a role where I can make a direct contribution to this work.”

Simon Ofield-Kerr, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) at UAL, said: “As well as being a great personal achievement for Susan, it is also great news for the University.”

The TEF exercise was introduced by the Government to recognise excellent teaching and inform applicants’ choices about where to study.  The subject-level pilot is developmental and ratings for the providers taking part will not be published. A second round of pilots will take place next year.

July 2017

ELIA Academy

GLAD led a workshop session at the 8th Academy, titled What’s going on Here?  Exploring Elasticity in Teaching and Learning in the Arts, organised by ELIA (European League of Institutes of the Arts) at Central Saint Martin’s, UAL.  After listening to a short description of GLAD’s work, delegates engaged in a World Café style discussion on current issues in our sector.

April 2017

GLAD 20th Annual Conference

Thank you to all the delegates who presented and attended the 20th Annual GLAD Conference at Manchester School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University.

Copies of the presentations can be viewed HERE 


March 2017

GLAD Conference 2017 - Keynote Speaker Dr Steven Jones

Details of one of this years keynote speakers, Dr Steven Jones.

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Beyond Excellence: new discourses for university teaching in the age of competition

Many academics would sympathise with the government’s claim that a ‘rebalancing’ of research and teaching is needed. As a sector, we’ve become accustomed to close scrutiny of our research while our teaching has largely remained unaudited, sometimes over-reliant on the dedication of personally committed staff. But to what extent can ‘excellence’ in teaching can be justly measured across a higher education sector as diverse as the UK’s? And can we be confident that metrics will be used to enhance our students’ learning rather than to enact a market agenda? I argue that university offers students something different from their earlier, more instrumental educational experiences: opportunities to become immersed in a culture of scholarly enquiry and research advancement, to learn first-hand from those leading their field, and to conspire in the creation of new knowledge. A key challenge for the sector is to find the language needed to defend and celebrate teaching practices within public discourses that increasingly frame Higher Education in a negative light.

Steven is a Senior Lecturer at the Manchester Institute of Education, which is part of The University of Manchester. He runs the university’s PGCert in Higher Education and leads research into policy and practice in post-compulsory education. Steven has recently co-authored reports for the Sutton Trust, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and HEFCE that explore how socially disadvantaged young people conceptualise, engage with and perform at university. He is particularly interested in how students’ cultural and social capital affects their HE experience, from application to employment.

You can follow Steven on Twitter: @StevenJones_MCR


March 2017

GLAD Conference 2017 - Keynote Speaker Professor Susan Orr

Details of one of this years keynote speakers, Professor Susan Orr, Dean of Learning, Teaching and Enhancement, University of the Arts London.


Teaching Excellence in Art and Design: What is it and who decides?


September 2018


Click HERE to register for your place at the 21st GLADHE Annual Conference. Friday 7th December 2018 @MMU

April 2017

Conference Tweets

You can view Tweets made throughout the day  HERE


January 2017

Join the GLAD Community

We wish to encourage continued discourse and interaction among all involved in this sector, so we have created this portal as a means to forge, strengthen and create new links among colleagues both nationally and internationally. To join click here