Report – SODA
- Manchester Metropolitan University is opening a new school of digital arts, named SODA
- The school will provide an interdisciplinary approach to media education that will serve the needs of the industry
- The school aims to close the skills gap and prepare the next generation for careers in a variety of specialisms including UX design, sound, animation, filmmaking and more
In 2021, Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) will be opening SODA – a new £35 million School of Digital Arts. Paul Bason from the university explained how the new building has been designed to respond to future changes in technology so that it can develop over time. He said that the school will progress and provide an interdisciplinary approach to the media sector, bringing together curriculum in media on a scale not previously seen in the UK.
This new development for the university is being created in response to demand in Manchester. The city is the largest digital technology hub outside of London and there are more than 80,000 creative sector jobs based in the Greater Manchester area, such as those in MediacityUK, HOME and Manchester International Festival. Paul Bason highlighted the issue of the skills gap, saying that 69% of tech start-ups struggle to recruit and explained that SODA would drive development to close the gap and increase diversity in the workforce.
He said that “we are now at Generation Z and this cohort will be different from today’s millennials as they are the first generation to grow up with social media from birth”. He said that this generation view themselves as co-creators and want education to allow them to work fluidly across disciplines. Therefore, SODA will not be a screen or film school, but it will be about storytelling and creative content in many forms including: film, animation, UX design, photography, AI, games design and more.
Manchester Metropolitan University are looking to work with the industry to deliver the best education possible and serve the needs of the industry.