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Dutch creative industry launches international Digital Design master

AMSTERDAM – The Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS) offers a new international master’s program in Digital Design, in a unique collaboration with nine leading creative digital agencies in the Netherlands. 

The Digital Design master program is intended for talented digital designers from around the world with the goal to turn them into global level players. It also aims to strengthen the position of the Netherlands as a hotbed for Digital Design. The agencies involved are: Achtung!, Tribal DDB & Amsterdam, FHV BBDO, Fabrique, MediaMonks, Mirabeau, Momkai, Tam Tam and Woedend!

Victor Knaap, founder of MediaMonks; “Digital Design from the Netherlands is quickly making inroads into foreign markets. To grow even further, we need to attract, develop and retain the most talented digital designers right here in Amsterdam” 


Digital Design boosts the Dutch economy 
The Dutch creative industry plays an increasingly important economic role in the Netherlands. In the period from 2005 to 2013, the number of jobs in this sector grew by an average of 2.5 percent per year, far above the average of other sectors in the Netherlands. Digital Design is a major driver of product development and innovation and not just plays an important role in advertising, but also in many other industries. 

Jeroen van Erp, a member of the Top Team Creative Industries and CEO of Fabrique said: “Digital Design goes far beyond building a website or an app. The digital world has become an integral part of our lives. This component is often decisive for a successful and effective user experience and thus economically and socially relevant. This requires specialists and we want to create a breeding ground for the best talent.”

According to the initiators there is a need to develop talented digital designers into global players – creatives that can use Digital Design to forge new relationships with users, to solve social problems and help develop new products and services. 

Geleyn Meijer, responsible for the new program at the AUAS added: “This new role requires a high degree of autonomy, a clear vision on the profession and the ability to collaborate with professionals from other disciplines. A master’s degree in Digital Design will therefore be a clear addition to the current offering.”

Demand for new master
A study, especially conducted to explore demand, showed a great need for this program from both agency as well as student perspective. 

Researcher Matthijs Leendertse said: “Talented digital designers typically start working immediately after finishing their bachelor degree. Many of them indicate that they need to specialize, in order to truly make a difference in an international context. They want to learn from the best and brightest in their field, be it teachers, professionals, fellow talented designers or clients.” 

The agencies, in turn, need a larger pool of talent in the Netherlands.

Adjan Kodde, founder of Mirabeau said: “Due to the strong growth of the sector, the demand for design talent is growing rapidly. We see the master in Digital Design as a strong impetus to further develop talented designers and as an international attraction for the Dutch digital sector.”

Prelaunch in September 2015 
The master in Digital Design will start in September 2015 with a number of pilot modules and will begin in February 2016 as full master’s program. International students wanting to sign up need a Bachelors degree in a relevant discipline, a personal vision on Digital Design, a track record and international attitude. The language of the master’s program is English. It’s a government-funded and fully accredited study with the title ‘Professional Master of Digital Design’.

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