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The UCA family – More than just a creative university

The University for the Creative Arts (UCA) in Southeast England prides itself on its friendly, welcoming and diverse community of creatives from all over the globe. With a student population made up of 91 nationalities, the university promotes a truly global perspective and is the second largest provider of creative arts education in Europe.

As the highest-ranked specialist university for the Creative Industries in The Guardian University Guide 2018, as well as standing among the Complete University Guide‘s Top 50; UCA has offered students an unparalleled creative education for 150 years.

The institution’s future focus is driven by Vice-Chancellor Professor Bashir Makhoul, the first Palestinian academic to be appointed to the top position at a British university. As a former international student in the UK himself and a prolific writer, editor and artist, he’s encouraging UCA to “give its students not only a world-class education in the arts but direct access to a global context of education, research and the creative economies”.

Supporting this vision, UCA’s team of international admissions and teaching staff are dedicated to supporting students from outside the UK throughout their time at university.

Incoming students, many of whom will be staying in the UK for the first time, are invited to an International and EU Welcome Event hosted at each of UCA’s four campuses. New students can enjoy a social evening alongside peers, a representative of UCA’s Leadership Team and members of the local community.

UCA’s talented academics and technicians are also committed to supporting you throughout your learning journey, preparing you for a successful career in the creative industries after you graduate. All teachers are active practitioners in their field and can offer students plenty of contact time thanks to a high staff-to-student ratio.

“All the tutors are excited about what they teach,” says Cynthia Darman, a BA (Hons) Fashion Media and Promotion student at UCA Rochester, “and they get excited when we start to formulate our own ideas and responses. We choose the level of independence that suits us and, because the classes are rather intimate, the tutors are able to tailor their teaching methods.”

All UCA students benefit from an institution that’s 100 percent creative and boasts a huge range of specialist facilities and student resources on site. “My favourite thing about studying at UCA,” says Postgraduate Master of Architecture graduate Aliriza Eren, “is being able to create and think of every single detail of everything I dreamed of with the best technological facilities such as laser cutting, 3D printing and workshops.” Unlike multidisciplinary universities, UCA is distinct in its focus on the business of creativity, which is not compromised by sharing facilities with other disciplines.

Giving you an excellent creative education in an inspiring and welcoming environment is all part of UCA’s offering, with many students choosing to stay to continue their studies. Ayo Rosanwo came to the UK from Nigeria to study BA (Hons) Architecture. “I have really enjoyed my three years at UCA,” he says. “The staff, the students and the city have left me with fond memories – there is a real sense of community and family which is hard to find and a real credit to UCA.”

UCA’s EU and international students have achieved notable success across many creative disciplines, gaining national or global recognition for their exceptional work. In 2016, Japanese graduates Tami Ishida (MA Glass) and Saki Yokota (MA Product Design) were each awarded a prestigious Red Dot design award, while Qiwei Jiang, from Shenzhen, China, graduated from UCA in the same year and went on to win the Marks & Spencer Best Womenswear Award at Graduate Fashion Week. “The experience of studying BA Fashion course at UCA Epsom was valuable and unforgettable for me,” Qiwei says. “The course taught me a lot through finishing each project step by step.”

And it’s not just about making the most of the opportunities the UK has to offer during your studies – Oscar and BAFTA-winning filmmakers and animators, world-renowned fashion designers, Turner Prize nominees, Stirling Prize winners and leading craft artists are just some of the university’s high-profile alumni who have enriched the world with their talents.

Several alumni who are originally from outside the UK have set up their own UK-based business or practice within the creative industries. Since graduating from UCA, illustrators Robert Sae-Heng and Margaux Carpentier, fine artist Hilde Krohn Huse and designer Victor Wong have all enjoyed career success based in London. In the domain of the moving image, Kenyan Roy Kimani has co-founded Cube Video, Hong Khaou is a well-known film director originally from Cambodia, and Michael Dudok de Wit is an animator, director and writer who won an Oscar for his animation, The Red Turtle. Meanwhile Inez Torre has enjoyed huge success as a UI and UX designer based in London.

For more information on how the University for the Creative Arts is helping international students begin their career in the Creative Industries, please visit uca.ac.uk.

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