We are delighted to announce that today (Tuesday 1 November) the distance learning provider the Open College of the Arts (OCA) is officially joining the University.
The agreement adds distance learning and online degrees at undergraduate and postgraduate level to UCA’s course portfolio, building on the vision of OCA’s founder Michael Young of making creative arts education accessible to everyone.
OCA is a charitable trust established in 1987. UCA has validated all of OCA’s undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications since 2012.
Professor Simon Ofield-Kerr, Vice-Chancellor of UCA, said: “This new relationship between two long-established creative arts providers means more choice and flexibility for students, providing opportunities for undertaking undergraduate or postgraduate courses to develop your career or improve your quality of life.
“At a time when the creative industries are thriving, with the Government’s 2016 Creative Industries Economic Estimates report showing that they are worth almost £10 million an hour to the economy, now is the time to enhance access to arts education and to ensure that UCA is meeting the needs of different kinds of student who may have very different needs.”
Gareth Dent, Principal of OCA, said: “Distance learning means students can start their degree when it suits them, without waiting for the start of a new academic year, and at considerably lower cost than for a residential university course. The agreement UCA is announcing today secures OCA’s vision of opening up access to creative arts education at university level to everyone, wherever they are in the UK and beyond.”
UCA has been offering art and design education for more than 150 years. Today, UCA is the second largest provider of creative arts education in Europe and is ranked first for arts education in London and the Southeast. This year, UCA was named a top 40 UK university, entering the Guardian University League Tables at position 39, with its School of Architecture ranked fifth in the subject listings. UCA was also identified as one of the country’s leading universities – and the UK’s top arts university – for teaching quality, after being ranked 14th in this category by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide.