28 June 2016
Wales' number one arts and media school draws up a bright vision for the future
The number one arts and media school in Wales is drawing-up plans for an even brighter future.
The School of Creative Arts at Wrexham Glyndwr University was named 12th in the UK and top in Wales in the recent Guardian University Guide following a successful year which included the arrival of new head, Professor Alec Shepley.
The department’s 31-place rise came during a successful period which included the Final Year Degree Show and prestigious award nominations for students and lecturers.
Professor Shepley (pictured right) thanked his team for their efforts but said the focus now is on further improving student satisfaction, academic excellence and the research reputation of the award-winning School.
“The School of Creative Arts at Wrexham Glyndwr University is a vibrant and creative community for staff and students alike,” he said.
“We have strong international and professional connections and our students experiment and develop their creative talents whether it be in art, design, humanities, creative media, performing arts or the written word.”
So what led to such a significant boost in the School’s league table rankings? The increase from 43rd to 12th was down to a variety of positive factors, with 91% of students satisfied with the standards of teaching.
“What we have here is a supportive and inspiring environment in which students flourish and grow academically and creatively,” said Professor Shepley.
“All of our staff are research-active and many are leading creative practitioners who are internationally recognised – that is what is appealing to applicants and why so many of our graduates go on to successful careers in the creative industries.”
He added: “The sector is a very important component of the UK economy and our staff and students are an important contributor to that economic success – both monetarily and in terms of social and cultural benefits.
“The beauty and joy of what we do here is because we know that true creativity cannot be predicted and students develop their work in conversation with staff and not by a predetermined formula.
“That is what made Wrexham my destination of choice, and why it’s the choice of so many others – there is simply so much creative potential here.”
Among the alumni to have prospered in past months are Ivana Milchanska - who was among 16 finalists contesting The Irish Times’ Amateur Photographer of the Year Awards - and Steve Caldwell, who picked up the Samuel Bath Ltd Prize at the RBSA Portrait Prize Exhibition in Birmingham before being selected to display his work at The BP Portrait Awards event for the second year running.
The School is also celebrating the success of Dan Berry, programme leader for Illustration, Graphic Novels and Children's Publishing, who, together with student Max Sarin, has been nominated for an Eisner Award for his role as editor and contributor in the Best Anthology category for 24 by 7.
Applied Art student, Sophie Johnson, also made headlines last week when she picked up first prize for Best Craftsmanship for her cosplay (short for costume role play) design at Wales Comic Con, while Tuisku Hiltunen, a second-year Illustration student, won first prize in a much-lauded Oxford Press competition.