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RCA Fund 2015/16 Launches to Support Future Students with Exceptional Promise

The RCA Fund 2015/16 campaign launches today, building on the exceptional generosity of over 360 RCA alumni and friends who have already offered their support to a future generation of artists and designers.

Launching in 2014, the Fund has so far helped 14 students to complete their studies at the RCA. 2014/15 saw the first ever award of the pre-entry Scholarship, as well as a Bursary to an MA student from each of the College’s six Schools, and to an additional MPhil candidate from the School of Fine Art.

Since its founding in 1837, the Royal College of Art has taken pride in nurturing some of the world’s most creative individuals, many of whom have gone on to change the face of art and design as we know it. Notable alumni feature across the globe as leaders in their fields, at the forefront of cutting-edge research and production alike. 

The RCA is recognised as the number one Art and Design university in the world, by the QS World University Rankings. The College offers a challenging and transformative education experience, one that uniquely encourages innovative interdisciplinary practice to promote a diverse and accomplished body of students. However, as tuition fees continue to rise in response to reduced public funding for higher education, many promising artists and designers of the future are forced to turn down their place at the College due to financial hardship.

Students at the RCA are taught by leading academics and practitioners in their fields, with whom they work closely in an immersive and intellectually rigorous environment. Tutors, who are some of the most distinguished artists and designers in the world, meet with students directly – one-on-one, as well as in small groups in workshops, labs and studios, where they receive engaged feedback. Central to the pedagogical ethos of the College is the development of critical thinking to uncover new perspectives, make connections, challenge assumptions and push the limits of knowledge. Students are fostered by supportive and stimulating teaching methods that allow them to gain confidence to face challenges and seize opportunities with success, both during and after their studies.

Research forms an indispensable part of the core interests of the College, which attracts talented research students who bring new energy and ambition to their disciplines. Graduates have gone on to great achievement in sectors as diverse as education, fine art, automotive and healthcare – where they carry the RCA culture of excellence into the wider world.

The College commits substantial resources to scholarships, bursaries and hardship funds in the hope that no promising and qualified student will miss out on the extraordinary opportunities of studying at the RCA due to financial concerns. The RCA continues to secure new and generous scholarship donations for both home and international students. The changing environment in fees, however, due to government funding cuts, requires the College to seek additional avenues of financial support in order to support current and recruit future students at a continued level of educational excellence.

The RCA Fund was founded as an initiative to garner support for the best creative minds by ensuring that those with exceptional promise can study at the College regardless of their financial circumstances.

2014/15 RCA Fund Scholarship recipient, Hatty Nestor, MA in Critical Writing in Art and Design 2017, would have had to turn down her place at the RCA due to financial challenges. She says, ‘It is really important that students from all backgrounds, nationalities and talents have the opportunity to study and further their creative endeavours. This wonderful scholarship has given me the chance to pursue what I enjoy best; writing, in an institution so aligned with my interests. I cannot thank everyone who made this possible enough.’

Ronit Mirsky, MPhil researcher in Printmaking and recipient of an RCA Fund Bursary has been able to continue her commitment to research: ‘I invested so much in my research degree. After having my son I thought completing my research would be impossible, but thanks to your generous donation I can be both a mum and a student.’

Supporters of the RCA Fund will play a pivotal role in championing the next generation of world-leading artists. Every pound goes directly to providing scholarships and bursaries to those with the greatest potential, who are hindered by financial restraints.

The College sees challenges to funding spurring benefactors to contribute and make a decisive, lasting difference in the life and work of the RCA. Most importantly, the financial support enabled by the Fund has a life-changing impact for those young creators in receipt of its award. Like many prior RCA graduates who've since become household names, these talented students hone their skills at the College before leaving to contribute to excellence across a wide range of disciplines.

Further information about annual tuition fees can be found here. Click here if you would like to support the RCA Fund.