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Open College Of The Arts Joins Forces With University For The Creative Arts

Open College Of The Arts Joins Forces With University For The Creative Arts - University for the Creative Arts new validation and accreditation partner for education charity Open College of the Arts.

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Picture by OCA student Victoria Rahm.

The Open College of the Arts (OCA) is joining forces with the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) for the validation and accreditation of all its undergraduate (subject to validation) and post-graduate qualifications. The new arrangements will begin formally in September 2012.

In the 2010/11 academic year, OCA student enrolments grew by 15 per cent and the charity introduced new specialist BA Honours degrees in Creative Writing, Painting, Photography and Textiles. The OCA has an average of 3,000 active students each year, all of them part-time and 95% of them UK-based. Today’s announcement comes eleven months after OCA launched its first post-graduate qualification, Europe’s first MA in Fine Art by distance learning, which is validated by UCA.

UCA is one of Europe’s largest specialist universities of art, design, architecture, media and communication. Its alumni include fashion designers Karen Millen and Zandra Rhodes; Oscar winners Daniel Greaves and Suzie Templeton; and fine artists Tracy Emin and Humphrey Ocean.

The change in validation and accreditation partner follows a review by OCA of its business model in response to the publication by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills in June last year of ‘Students at the Heart of the System’, which outlines the government’s plans for the future of the higher education sector in England. The aim of the review was to secure best value for students at the same time as supporting OCA’s philosophy of widening participation in higher education.

OCA’s Chair of Trustees Chris Jelley welcomed the announcement of the new partnership: "UCA and OCA are natural allies. UCA is the only specialist university in the UK with a similar curriculum focus to the OCA, and the obvious choice to validate and accredit OCA’s growing course portfolio. UCA is a university which shares our commitment to quality in the courses and qualifications we offer students and professionalism in the way students are taught to develop as creative arts practitioners. The decision to partner with UCA is supported unanimously by OCA’s Trustees. OCA looks forward to working with UCA on putting in place the arrangements for the transition next year, and on developing OCA’s forthcoming BA Honours degrees in Visual Communications, Graphic Design and Illustration."

Professor Mark Hunt, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at UCA, said: "It is UCA’s mission to support and nurture creative talent wherever it is found, so we are delighted to extend our partnership with OCA. OCA’s programmes help bring creative arts subjects to an extremely diverse audience and we are very proud to be involved in this."

For more information please visit The Open College Of The Arts website.

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