Chinese study of arts in London booms

19 February, 2014

As the fashion world gathers in the UK for London Fashion Week, the city’s promotional organisation has highlighted a huge increase in the number of Chinese students coming to study creative art and design courses.

The China showcase launch at the British Council International Fashion Showcase

London & Partners said that that UK universities had experienced a 150 per cent increase in Chinese students on art and design courses, while in the capital the subject has overtaken traditional choices such as engineering, technology and mathematics to become the second most popular field.

Kevin McCarthy, Head of Education and Culture at London & Partners, said, “In the last ten years, we have seen a consistent rise in Chinese students studying at London’s top universities.

“The number of Chinese students studying arts and design has risen a staggering 158 per cent over the last five years, with the University of the Arts London (UAL), which encompasses six top arts schools, experiencing extremely large rises.”

McCarthy said Chinese students were broadening their study horizons. “London can capitalise on this because we have such a large creative economy and lead the world in design, fashion, music and film.”

Business remains the most popular subject field for Chinese students in London, and has increased nearly 40 per cent in the last five years, according to data cited by London & Partners from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (Hesa).

In line with London Fashion Week, the British Council International Fashion Showcase is displaying emerging talent from 14 different countries, and the China showcase features several alumni from UAL, including Yang Du, who has subsequently worked with John Galliano, Vivienne Westwood and Giles Deacon, and Octavia Yang, who has worked for Swarvorski, Dior and Alexander McQueen.

Yang said, “London is the perfect stage to make your dream a reality. There are some of the best universities in the world, the city encourages creativity and is a world centre for fashion and design.”

In November last year, London & Partners hosted a reception for Beijing-based agency association Bossa during its first ever week-long UK workshop.

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