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A Word from Mark Evans- Associate Dean of Student Experience

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We caught up with Mark Evans, Associate Head of School for FAH, who gave us an insight to plans in your faculty for the rest of the academic year. See what he had to say below

Are there any services/events happening in the faculties that students should be aware off?

“In terms of events we have ‘FAH Futures’ which is our employability support team, this is a service we offer to all FAH students currently, and it focuses primarily on supporting placement activity & careers advice relating to the students course. We want this service to be as effective as possible so we are more than happy to see if there are ways we can improve this to greater benefit the students. The current office is planning on moving spaces very soon and so there will be a launch event for the new office, keep an eye out on the emails for more information on this.

We’re also in the process of going through an estates redevelopment, the Bugatti building will be knocked down and the new building will sit between the Graham Sutherland & Maurice Foss. There have been a few meetings regarding the details behind this and on a number of occasions some student reps have been invited to attend these meetings. We are looking at the possibility of involving all students and seeing how they can participate and impact it. This is being looked at by the council currently and if passed, work should begin to start in 12 months roughly. We began to look at this move because of the increased need for a larger space to enhance the student experience whilst studying here, we also hope that this move will then lead to us improving the use of the space we currently already have. We plan on doing this by refurbishing certain areas of the faculty building.

The City of Culture in 2021 is a great opportunity for every course to be engaged with this event, and we are looking at creating projects that will help students to take advantage of the opportunities that will come about from being awarded the City of Culture.

The main event we have coming at the end of 2nd semester is the degree show, the vast majority of final year students studying design, media performing arts &some humanities related subjects will be involved in a cross-faculty event called the degree show. Each school has a different method to how they run it, for media and performing arts there will be a number of different performances throughout the Ellen Terry building. This is a great opportunity for automotive design students to engage with industry experts, as there will be a number of experts and employers who will come and look at the work.

What are your thoughts on the drop in applications to study performing arts degrees at University?

The Government have removed certain subjects (particularly performing arts) from the core educational strategy, which is based heavily around the EBacc. This means that schools feel pressure to focus heavily on what the Government suggest are the subjects that they should be focusing on. As a result many schools now are cutting them out entirely from the modules, the consequence of this is that they are shutting off the pipeline of potential students who would study is ta GCSE’s, then A-Levels and finally on a higher education course. As schools drop these opportunities the number of students going down this route will also decline.

The level of support for students who are unsure about pursuing a performing arts degree is now insufficient, as the staff who would’ve been able to advise them or encourage them are no longer going to be present when they make their decisions. This is now being reflected in the drop of applications in all performing arts degrees. This doesn’t mean that the number of students who are interested in this is declining, but because they may not have the access or support required to progress further, they are unlikely to pursue it.

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