The director of the city's first Academy of Visual Arts said yesterday he was confident that the practicality of the programme would boost the job prospects of its graduates. Wan Qingli, director of the academy of Baptist University, was speaking after yesterday's opening of the Kai Tak campus, a renovated former Royal Air Force officers' mess built in 1934. The visual arts programme, established last year, has received 1,300 applications for 41 places. Mr Wan said young art students had endured a nightmare in recent years. 'Most students who studied arts and design in universities in Hong Kong could not find an appropriate job as what they studied could not meet the demands of society,' he said. But he was confident the programme could meet society's needs as it was more practical and contained both Chinese and western cultural elements. He said there would be exchange programmes in future and he hoped the faculty would be able to expand over the next three years. 'In the summer time, our students will travel to Italy for cultural exchanges ... There are only three teachers in the faculty at this moment and I want to increase the number to 10.' Lau On-yi, 20, one of the students, said she was confident she would be able to find suitable employment after finishing her degree. 'This course is in a sense more colourful compared with others. I am now taking a course in art installations. I never worry about getting a job in Hong Kong.'