Bafta scholarships open door to UK

Bafta opens door to creative exchange

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 April, 2014, 9:49am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 April, 2014, 9:49am

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (Bafta) is expanding its reach with a range of programmes designed to encourage creative collaboration between Britain and Asia. The highlight is a scholarship scheme - the Bafta Yip Foundation Scholarships - which allows two students from Hong Kong to study in Britain. Bafta is now accepting applications.

"The thinking behind these scholarships really forms the basis of what we are trying to achieve and that is creative and cultural collaborations," says Amanda Berry, the chief executive of Bafta.

The scholarships will give two permanent Hong Kong residents needing financial help the chance to study a postgraduate course in Britain in film, television or games. They are part of a wider Bafta scholarship programme, which will also enable up to two British nationals to study a postgraduate course in Hong Kong. The Bafta Yip Foundation Scholarships provide up to £20,000 (HK$257,000) towards one year's course fees at a British institution, a £10,000 bursary for living expenses, the support of an industry mentor, and free access to Bafta events.

The deadline for applications is June 9.

"People talk about leaving a legacy, but for me it's a 'presency'. Why should people benefit when I die? I want to be here to see the benefits," says Yip Foundation founder and entrepreneur, Katherine Yip.

But why Bafta? "I've always been passionate about edu-tainment - a great marriage between learning and being entertained," Yip says.

"There are a lot of scholarships around but these are unique in that it obviously has the tuition but also encompasses the person's living expenses ... the last thing I want is for someone to go and study as part of the scholarship programme but have to work two jobs to pay for living expenses. It's defeating and takes the energy out of it."

Yip says the programme has a solid vetting committee and the scholarships will go to those who don't have the means but are fervent about the master's degree: "Someone who has a passion and commitment to fulfilling that degree and is prepared to learn. Candidates must also be engaging."

For Berry, the scholarships represent a growing presence in Asia.

"The film and games industries are increasingly becoming more global. Bafta has more than 7,000 members across film and television and games and I feel we are in a unique position with the membership and contacts to create international dialogue - and to create these amazing opportunities," she says.