24 students graduating from BA Design Futures and BA Design Management courses at the University of Salford will be showcasing their work by engaging with industry professionals. They plan to be in the news, quite literally, by producing a tabloid newspaper to present the issues that they explore on a daily basis during their design investigations.

The paper called ’I25UE’ will roll off the press on Monday 25 April 2011, and will be distributed in various locations around the City, and to a tight list of potential clients, employers and creative professionals around the NorthWest.

24 students, talking about 24 different issues in the newspaper, so why not Issue24? The 25th Issue will be an industry debate at Dukes92, on Tuesday 10 May 2011, where a panel of industry big-hitters will explore the headline question that all graduates want to know: what skills are employers desperate for in this difficult market. An invited audience of 150 will hear the story first hand.

Interesting topic considering the recent £9,000 price hike in university fees. Are graduates living up to what the industry needs? One thing I see lacking isn’t really a skills one, it’s an understanding of “real world” practices and after graduating from this innovative course myself.. the key for me was the facilitation to speak to and work with the industry directly.

This course now runs a project called Professional Practice (which I help deliver), devoted to students running an actual live project for themselves in a team. And I think this goes some way to bridge the gap between being a student and working.

The students will also launch their website, www.issue25.com, and interactive app, including an interactive map of where the key Design Thinkers are in Manchester

Programme Leader, Roy Chilvers, says:

“The students have been working closely with Adrian Bentley, Creative Director of Manchester-based Just Good Ideas, to conceive, brand, engage and deliver on this project. I doubt there will be anything produced from any group of students about to become available to the jobs market that can get anywhere near this for quality, ambition and innovation. These students know design, and they now know what it is to do business. That’s their edge, and that’s the real issue”

For further information on the project and the event, follow them on Twitter @I25ue.