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Student Stories

Generous contributions from our alumni and supporters have already helped change the lives of RCA students.


Christopher Smith, Visual Communications, 2017–

'The RCA Fund scholarship has afforded me the opportunity to resume my studies and become part of a course and an institution I never thought I would be able to be part of.'

'I chose the RCA over other institutions because of its deep history and unique structure when it came to design-based courses. Following my acceptance to the RCA’s Visual Communication programme I had to defer my studies due to financial reasons.

The scholarship has afforded me the opportunity to resume my studies and become part of a course and an institution I never thought I would be able to be part of.

As the first person in my family to get a college degree, I feel privileged to have been given this award and I am sincerely grateful to supporters contributing to the financial aid the College is able to provide.'                


Agata Kik, Curating Contemporary Art, 2016–

'Thanks to the generosity of RCA Fund supporters I was able to continue my studies and turn my struggle into beauty…'

'I moved to London specifically to study at the RCA. Initially inspired by Polish sculptor Alina Szapocznikow, I was admitted into the programme with the idea to create an analogy between the body, disease and disintegration. After only one month of pursuing my studies, this unfortunately became my reality. I had a terrible bicycle accident and broke my neck, which led to a stroke, a brain abscess, craniotomy, and multiple brain seizures.

Thanks to the Royal College of Art and the support provided to me in form of a bursary, I was able to pursue my studies. I survived the extremely difficult story of losing my health and coming so close to death by transforming a feeling of urgency into creative work that I will carry with me into my future curating career.

Artistic and curatorial thinking at the College have not only turned out to be an academic and life teaching experience, but also my cure.'                          


 Milagros Bedoya Valdivia, Contemporary Art Practice, 2016–

'The help that the RCA and supporters provide had a greater value than just monetary. It gave me the confidence that I have support, that my abilities are trusted, and that the future of RCA students is looked after.'

'Having started my artistic practice in Peru, applying to the RCA was a crucial academic step for the consolidation of my professional work as an artist.

Sadly, in my country, candidates from the Arts and Humanities careers are not eligible to apply to the government’s scholarship programme, but when I received the acceptance from the RCA, I felt that I couldn’t let the opportunity pass. However, at the start of my second year, I encountered financial trouble and turned to the RCA Student Support team who helped me consider all my options.  

Thankfully, I was awarded an RCA Fund bursary, which eased my financial burden and helped me to avoid taking a leave of absence to gather the necessary amount of money. Having the chance to continue my work process without a disruption, is an invaluable gift.

I am incredibly grateful to the RCA and to supporters that make bursaries available for students in financial trouble. They have given me an extraordinary opportunity to fulfil a personal goal and embark on what has been the most challenging and exciting experience of my life so far.' 


Ramlah Wraich, Fashion Womenswear, 2016–

'A big thank you to supporters, RCA student support and to all the tutors who have helped me through these difficult times.'

'Studying at the RCA was always a dream and when I received the offer, it was unbelievable. I had to accept it. Being part of the RCA is inspirational because of the experiences you go through, the people you meet, and the tutors who support you. The decision to study here was one of the best.

When I encountered financial difficulty, the College supported me when I needed the most help, when my family was not able to help me with these problems.

In the beginning, I did not see much hope, but I got so much help from the RCA, for which I am very grateful. A big thank you to supporters, RCA Student Support and to all the tutors who have helped me through these difficult times. Being part of the RCA because it is one of the best experience in my life.'

Help support the next generation of RCA students – Donate to the RCA Fund today.


"If you share our belief that no student should be deterred from applying to, or prevented from studying at the RCA for financial reasons, please give today."