Blog by Val Palmer, International Academic & Senior Lecturer, UAL
"During March, 2017 I visited Australia (Melbourne and Sydney) for the University of the Arts London (UAL). The UAL has always welcomed students from Australia, and as interest has grown over recent years we have appointed an official UAL representative to help and support those who are interested in applying to our courses.
"My visit comprised a series of one-to-one diagnostic student interviews, visits to schools and colleges and open information sessions for both students and parents. I also hosted a practical workshop on portfolio development, which was attended by over 40 students from various schools. I was extremely impressed with the standard of work presented at both private and state schools, all of whom gave me a warm and enthusiastic welcome.
"I was particularly inspired by the exceptional quality of work shown at the ArtXpress and Shape exhibitions in NSW, featuring year 12 student graduate projects. These students demonstrated sophisticated ideas, concept development, creative skills and research across a wide range of art and design disciplines. I interviewed and made offers to several of the students featured, and hope that others will consider furthering their education at UAL in the future. I also attended meetings with representatives from NESA, and visited TAFE Sydney and RMIT. The UAL is currently developing a partnership with RMIT and is committed to deepening links with leading cultural institutions across Australia.
"Overall, I interviewed a total of 40 students - the highest recorded for a UAL visit - with the vast majority achieving direct offers. The quality of these applicants was very high and there is clear potential for future student recruitment. We are delighted with the burgeoning interest in our course provision, and look forward to receiving new applications.
"Currently, there are 75 students from Australia who are part of our diverse, creative community at UAL. Wherever students come from or whatever their background, they will meet like-minded people, be inspired by new ideas and collaborate with people from different cultures.
"We have official UAL representatives in over 20 countries, who can offer advice about UAL and help with the application process. In Australia, we work closely with our Australian representatives, BCIC. This service offers students local support through every stage of the application process and arranges face-to-face interviews, free of charge."