Championing Digital Literacy with Solent University, the UK’s New Adobe Creative Campus
University graduates need more than a degree and strong grades to stand out in today’s workforce. They need an edge.
For Solent University, that edge is digital literacy. The Southampton-based university is on a mission to ensure its students build the digital literacy and fluency they need to thrive in their careers, a commitment it solidified this year by becoming the UK’s second Adobe Creative Campus.
“This partnership gives every Solent student and staff member access to Adobe Creative Cloud, not just on campus but on their own devices,” says Professor Karen Stanton, Vice-Chancellor at Solent University. “There’s so much creativity and talent in our student body, and by putting the latest technologies at their fingertips we expect to see that talent reach its full potential.”
The Keystone of Graduate Success
“Innovative technologies are the keystone of digital literacy, and Adobe Creative Cloud is the keystone of creativity in a digital world. The dual forces of digital literacy and creativity are now reshaping our economy and workforce, and it’s up to us as educators to prepare our students for this future,” says Stanton.
Solent University first distinguished itself as a centre of blended learning, digital skills, and real-world curricula through its Transformation Academy, an online learning platform launched in 2020 to educate students at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Being an Adobe Creative Campus provides the faculty, teachers, and students with an opportunity to bring their studies to life like never before.
Crucially for the university, Adobe Creative Cloud will not only be used to teach creative courses, but also to reframe subject areas, like business, law and social sciences, through the lens of digital literacy and creative problem-solving.
An Incubator for Future Skills
For Mark Andrews, the Adobe evangelist helping Solent University to unlock the full potential of its Adobe Creative Campus partnership, this marks a bold move by a future-focused institution that highlights how technology can shape minds, in addition to transforming industries.
“Adobe Creative Cloud is known globally for helping creative professionals design beautiful content, but it’s more than that,” he says. “Solent University joins a community of more than 50 universities around the world that use our creative apps to enhance their students’ learning experience, with digital literacy as a core pillar of their methodology.”
Research into the impact of Adobe’s Creative Campuses in America paints a telling picture of how these partnerships deliver results that follow graduates into the workforce. Students enrolled in courses where Creative Cloud is integrated into the curriculum achieved 8 percent higher grades than those who were not, with students in their first-term classes earning 2.4 times higher grades than those who utilised more traditional methods.
In short, the partnerships give students an edge by making them more successful, engaged, and committed.
These institutions also make the crucial distinction between simply teaching digital skills and empowering students to change their mindsets. Adobe Creative Campuses like Solent University promote the skills of tomorrow – critical thinking and problem-solving, resilience, communication skills, and digital literacy, but their true goal is to ensure graduates enter the workforce with more personal agency and conviction.
Digital Literacy Gains Momentum
As the second Adobe Creative Campus in the UK, Solent joins Teeside University, the country’s first campus, in leading the graduate education system towards a more digitally-literate and future-ready approach to learning. In fact, the schools are building a community of practice between them to champion digital literacy across UK institutions of higher learning.
All of this begs a simple question: what exactly is digital literacy? For the institutions making up Adobe’s community of Creative Campuses, digital literacy is the power to use digital tools to solve complex problems, take on innovative projects, enhance the way people communicate, and prepare for the challenges of an increasingly digital world. To impart this crucial skill, we need to make digital and creative tools available to people in every age group and community, promoting creativity for all.
For Solent University, the definition is even simpler. Digital literacy is the foundation of employability in the workforce of tomorrow, and that makes it an essential skill for every student that passes through its doors. The school may be transforming its methods, but its ambition has not changed since it was founded in 1856 – to prepare young people for what lies ahead and give them the edge they need to succeed no matter what comes their way.