From education to employment

Plymouth College of Art broadens international horizons

Plymouth College of Art strongly believes in the importance of providing a learning and teaching experience which broadens horizons for both students and staff, with international partnerships and projects in place connecting the college to renowned institutions all over the world. Over the last 12 months, the college has more than doubled the number of opportunities for international exchanges for staff and students, giving them an exciting chance to travel and experience learning, creating and teaching that is educationally, philosophically and culturally enriching, as well as welcoming international students and staff to create, learn and teach in Plymouth.

Most recently, the college is proud to announce new international relationships that include an Erasmus+ bilateral agreement with Design Academy Eindhoven – one of the most renowned design schools in the world, and a new exchange programme with Emily Carr University of Art + Design in Vancouver, Canada’s most prestigious art school.

Design Academy Eindhoven

The college’s new Erasmus+ bilateral agreement with Design Academy Eindhoven will give students and staff the opportunity to apply for a period of study or teaching, with space for two students to undertake a four month placement, and for two teachers on week-long (5 day) exchanges. The window for student applications for the Spring semester will be open between 15 October – 1 November 2017.

The college will welcome the first student from Eindhoven onto the 3D Design Crafts programme in September. Despite the UK’s decision to leave the EU, Erasmus+ funding is guaranteed until 2020 so European exchanges through the scheme will continue to offer thousands of people across the UK the chance to study, train or volunteer abroad.

With around 25 incoming students on other Erasmus+ agreements from countries including Norway, Czech Republic, Spain, France, Germany and Belgium, Plymouth College of Art not only supports students to spend time learning and making in partner institutions, but also encourages staff to broaden horizons and make new connections by going on exchanges. Cathryn Bishop, Programme Leader for the college’s recently launched BA (Hons) Interior Decoration, Design and Styling degree travelled to France to spend a week at L’ecole de Design in Nantes as part of their international design week. She spent the week teaching workshops on interior design and said: “The whole experience was hugely enriching, and it was fascinating to teach in a different institution and to meet students from Nantes, but also from Japan, China, Italy and Turkey and learn a bit about how they are taught. I will definitely be passing on some of the learning from there about the programmes the design students use, and how well the week long workshop runs as a set up.”

Alongside continually expanding horizons through Erasmus+, Plymouth College of Art has independently established international relationships known as Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) with some of the world’s most highly regarded art schools, including Wuzhou University, Guangxi Arts University and Sichuan Fine Arts Institute in China. The college will welcome students from China on an Arts and English Language summer school in July 2017. Support for visiting students without English as their first language not only includes a Pre Sessional language programme through Open Doors International Language School, but extends throughout their study, up until the point that they submit their Contexts of Practice thesis, allowing students to write reflectively and effectively communicate complex dissertation ideas. Further to the extensive language support, the college also has a relationship with Clever Student Lets in Plymouth, who are able to help find short term tenancy agreements for incoming overseas students, as well as offering six month tenancies for students going on Erasmus+ exchanges.

Emily Carr: the most prestigious art school in Canada

The recently agreed MOU with Emily Carr will allow students enrolling at Plymouth College of Art the opportunity to spend a semester in Vancouver, tapping into a new creative network and community that will have a lasting positive impact on their course and their career. This year the college welcomed the first exchange student from Emily Carr to join the BA (Hons) Ceramics and Glass degree.

Katelyn Mikkola, a Fine Arts major with a focus on ceramics, said: “What initially drew me to Plymouth College of Art was the opportunity to work with glass, a material that Emily Carr does not have the facilities for. One of the biggest differences between studying at Plymouth College of Art and Emily Carr is how interwoven the courses are here. I love that the studios are open to students specializing in other disciplines, and that students are encouraged to take advantage of all of the different facilities available.”

This autumn, Plymouth College of Art BA (Hons) 3D Design Crafts student Rachel Ronnie will travel to Vancouver to spend a term at Emily Carr. She said, “I applied for the Emily Carr exchange after my tutor directly advised me to. I’ve always liked the idea of studying abroad, and when I heard there was an opportunity in Vancouver I thought it would be a great chance to see a bit of the world whilst studying at a specialist university. Following my current style of working at Plymouth College of Art I hope to continue to combine digital processes with traditional ways of working, and I’m looking forward to being the first cohort of students to use the new campus, where I hear they have state of the art studios. I’m hoping that being in a completely new environment will inspire my creative practice, and maybe even inspire me to chase more opportunities like this one.”

Speaking of the college’s MOU with Emily Carr and the college’s international horizons, Ian Farren, Plymouth College of Art’s Associate Dean of Academic Development and Head of the Graduate School and International, said, “This exciting new collaboration with Emily Carr University has become a reality, and is a reflection of the distance the college has travelled, not only in geographical terms, but in the international reach of our recognition in the UK, Europe and beyond.”

ABout Plymouth College of Art: A specialist independent Higher Education Institution (HEI) run by artist for artists. Founded in 1856, the college, which is a Founding Associate of Tate Exchange, offers a range of Undergraduate, Postgraduate and Pre-Degree study across Art, Design and Digital Media – combining over a 160 years of history with up-to-the-minute thinking and cutting-edge facilities. Our two city centre campuses are also home to the public Gallery and FabLab Plymouth, and we offer a range of short courses, masterclasses, and National Art & Design Young Arts Club. The college is a UK Advisory Council Member of the Creative Industries Federation, a Member of the Crafts Council Advisory Group and a Steering Group Member of the Cultural Learning Alliance. In June 2017, Plymouth College of Art was awarded the Social Enterprise Gold Mark by Social Enterprise Mark (CIC). This is the only internationally available social enterprise accreditation scheme, enabling organisations to prove they are in business primarily to create benefits for people and planet, providing a guarantee of a commitment to creating positive social change.

More than 2,500 students study at our campuses in the heart of Plymouth. Expert tutors share their expertise, while encouraging students to develop their own creative strengths. We continue to invest heavily in specialist resources and facilities – for digital media and technology, as well as fine art and handcrafted traditions. Our college has strong links with the creative industries and wider community. So our students have the opportunity to connect with a range of artists and potential employers from day one.

About The Plymouth Continuum of Creative Learning and Practice: In 2013 the college founded the city-centre all-through free school for 4 to 16-year-olds Plymouth School of Creative Arts. Together the school and college have established a radical and progressive continuum of creative learning and practice in the region that extends from early years to Masters level study. The school’s award-winning landmark building The Red House was formally opened by Tate Director Sir Nicholas Serota who hailed the opening as “a historic event in the history of education in this country”.

In response to the ongoing drive to marginalise the creative arts in mainstream education within the UK, Plymouth School of Creative Arts was established in an art school ethos of an approach to learning-through-making in all subject fields, through experiential and performative education, working with the intrinsic motivation of learners towards the practise and application of their knowledge and creative intelligence. Through its emphasis on making, the learning ethos of the school draws upon and develops intrinsic motivation, and every learner is thus involved in an open research inquiry they themselves direct through making.

Among UK presentations including UK Government Cabinet Office and HEFCE, Plymouth College of Art has been invited to present the creative learning continuum project internationally at Confindustria Veneto; OECD; Beijing Design Week; Révélations (Paris, Grand Palais); Loheland Stiftung (Germany); Ateliers d’Art de France, Cheongju International Craft Biennale; Shanghai University; and the 4th KEASS Sino–British (International) Creative Education Forum in Chengdu (China).

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