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GenerationRCA – one year on

February 2020 marks a year since the launch of GenerationRCA – a celebration of every past, present and future generation of talented RCA students and staff. It has been an amazing year for philanthropy at the College. The generosity of friends has raised a total of £56.6 million, of which £16.7 million has gone directly to scholarships.

Jonas Mlejnek (MA Photography) 2019/20 RCA Fund Scholar
Jonas Mlejnek quote

With our new state-of-the-art campus at Battersea racing towards completion, two of our new research centres launched and more than 50% of our £100m fundraising target for GenerationRCA raised, Helen Protheroe, Director of Development and Alumni Relations, shared where the GenerationRCA campaign was going next:  

‘The College is embarking on its biggest challenge yet – establishing a permanent endowment fund to continually provide a wealth of scholarship opportunities to the world’s most creative individuals for years to come. For the College to realise and unlock the full potential of its strategic plan – to become a STEAM-focused University (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) – it must recruit the innovators of tomorrow. The ability to offer substantial student fee waivers and financial aid, which our global comparators can currently disperse, is vital to the continued success and impact of the RCA.’ 

GenerationRCA, still
In the studio with GenerationRCA

Read on for highlights from a year that has seen high-profile partnerships, creative excellence and a continuation of support that ensures the best and brightest talent can study at the RCA regardless of their financial situation.


Graduating students
Scholarships play a significant role in the lives of students at the RCA, ensuring that the best and brightest students receive critical support throughout the course of their studies. In the last year, over 100 scholars have been supported to either embark on their studies or continue them.

The relationship which forms between donor and scholar is a lifelong connection that has seen many professional careers launched. In September 2019 the Burberry scholars who graduated in July exhibited their final Show pieces for around 30 Burberry staff. These alumni included Finchittida Finch (MA Jewellery & Metal) who will be using donated Burberry waste materials in her work. She commented, ‘Burberry has been the golden thread in my life, taking me to the next level at significant moments when I’ve lost my way.’


Proposed Design for the new Royal College of Art Battersea Campus © Herzog & de Meuron
Proposed Design for the new Royal College of Art Battersea Campus
© Herzog & de Meuron
The academic year began with the news that GenerationRCA had reached almost 70% of its philanthropic goal for the new Battersea campus. Thanks to generous donations from supporters such as the Sigrid Rausing Trust and Garfield Weston have supported the College’s transformation. The building will enable the College to continue competing globally, attract the highest calibre students and future entrepreneurs. 


The Grand Challenge – a unique and innovative learning experience for MA students in the School of Design – brought together industry partners with students to find solutions to global challenges such as health and mental well-being, the environment, and social and economic disparity.  

In 2019 our collaboration with CERN saw 374 students from across the School of Design devise workable solutions to global problems. From a menstrual cup sanitisation device for women in rural India to a device that aimed to combat the risks of consuming dangerous counterfeit medication by empowering consumers to tell the difference between unsafe and safe medication, the collaboration brought science and design together in new exciting ways. This year the Grand Challenge 2020 partnered with Logitech to collectively and creatively explore the future from a human perspective.  

In July 2019 the RCA School of Communication partnered with Snap to deliver the Snap Design Academy, a hands on six-week academy for students from community colleges across Los Angeles, California. Academics and students from the RCA delivered a week of creative workshops, fireside chats and mentorship. The sessions focused on how personal histories, experiences, background and aspirations might be represented and reflected in the future of technology. This was an exceptional opportunity for all involved and the College is looking forward to the possibility of future partnerships.

'Through GenerationRCA, we are making the most significant investment in the RCA's history – realising a vital and exciting vision that will enable the College, and the creative entrepreneurs we foster, to tackle the most pressing challenges of our times.' – Sir Jony Ive KBE, Chancellor

Learn more about how you can support GenerationRCA.