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Government Makes Public Budget Commitment to New Royal College of Art Campus

Today the Government made public its commitment to the new Royal College of Art Battersea campus, creating a flagship, 15,000sqm centre for postgraduate students and entrepreneurs.

The new RCA campus will sit alongside the RCA’s existing Dyson Building, Woo Building and Clore Innovation Centre, and the Sackler fine arts facilities in Battersea. The new campus will offer new programmes at the intersection of design and science, such as robotics; wearable technologies; the application of ‘smart materials’ into new product areas; and city design – all of which form part of the new vision for the RCA in 2021. 

Driven by a strong, entrepreneurial streak, a remarkable 45% of RCA alumni go into self-employment or run their own business (survey undertaken by EKOS, 2015); the new Battersea building will allow the RCA to expand the number of start-ups in InnovationRCA, the College’s commercialisation and business incubator.

The Royal College of Art is ranked as the number 1 university of art and design in the QS World University Subject Rankings. The RCA is also ranked as having ‘the highest number of student spin-outs with university ownership in recent years in the UK’ by the Higher Education Funding Council for England. With a student body of 1,500, the RCA had 14, compared to 4 at Oxford, Imperial and UCL and 2 at Cambridge. 

Commenting on the announcement, Dr Paul Thompson, Rector of the Royal College of Art said: 

“We are absolutely delighted that the Chancellor has awarded Royal College of Art funding of £54 million towards our new Battersea campus in today’s Budget. This is a wonderful vote of confidence, not only in our academic vision but also for the creative industries and the contribution they make to the UK economy and society. The RCA is committed to creating the next generation of creative entrepreneurs. Our new Battersea campus will embody this idea, helping us to deliver transformational experiences for our students and ensuring that the UK continues to lead the world in art and design.”

The RCA remains committed to its Kensington site and its historic roots, including its joint Master's programmes run with its Albertopolis partners, the Victoria & Albert Museum and Imperial College, London.