US art school offers seven new degree programmes

PUBLISHED : Monday, 04 June, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 04 June, 2012, 12:00am


The US-based arts college that won the right to convert a heritage building in Sham Shui Po into its first Asian campus is rolling out seven new degree programmes in an effort to boost its student intake.

The decision is in response to its much-criticised failure to meet its initial enrolment target.

The Savannah College of Art and Design Hong Kong said that from September, it would offer bachelor of fine arts degrees in fashion, fashion marketing and management, as well as master of arts and master of fine arts degrees in luxury and fashion management.

The school declined to say how many more students the new majors subjects would add. It has 239 students taking 14 courses at the moment, but it said that the new programmes were created in response to local and regional demand.

The college's vice-president, John Paul Rowan, says academic qualifications in fashion design are sought after in the city because Hong Kong is home to many international luxury fashion houses and an Asian centre for fashion.

Rowan says the college has strong connections with the international fashion industry through the School of Fashion at its Georgia campus, which runs an annual fashion show, presenting the Andre Leon Talley Lifetime Achievement Award.

The award has been presented to some of the biggest names in the fashion world, including Karl Lagerfeld, Miuccia Prada, Marc Jacobs and Manolo Blahnik, who attend the annual fashion show and review students' works, Rowan says. The college will hire eight new faculty members and invest in new equipment, but it did not reveal the budget for the expansion.

'It's a significant investment. We will also offer more scholarships,' said Rowan.

'We also want to leverage on Sham Shui Po district, which is a world famous fabric sourcing centre.'

In 2009, the arts college beat the Chinese Artists Association in the race to revitalise the former North Kowloon Magistracy building in Sham Shui Po under the Development Bureau's scheme.

But the college has been criticised for not meeting its initial target for student enrolment, which was set at 300 with an eventual enrolment of 1,500.