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OCA news: A note from Will Woods, Principal - The Open College of the Arts

To find out more details about the transfer to The Open University see A New Chapter for OCA.

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OCA news: A note from Will Woods, Principal

We are proud to increase access to the arts, as we approach the end of our 30th anniversary year I wanted to share a few of the ways we are doing that.

We have a new mission:

“To be at the forefront of student-led creative arts education through innovative open, enhanced, & supported distance learning, for an evolving society.”

Changing OCAs mission is a reflection of changes in society, Higher Education and OCA itself. In its 30th birthday year, OCA is one of the oldest independent creative arts providers in the UK and “at the forefront” reflects the experience and expertise gained. The charitable purpose remains key to what OCA is all about but repurposed “for an evolving society” to reflect that we want to widen our impact in an age where ethical considerations are at the forefront of people’s minds.

We are not just redefining our mission, we are also refreshing the curriculum and in particular we are about to launch a foundation and degree in Interior Design. This is an exciting new addition to the OCA portfolio and will “encourage students to challenge and propose new and innovative occupations of space and will allow students the freedom to develop their own individual design identities, using digital and analogue software and techniques”. The courses will be ready for enrolment from mid July (foundation) and mid August (degree), in the meantime you can learn more about the courses and express an interest by visiting the website https://www.oca.ac.uk/creative-arts-degrees/ba-hons-interior-design/

As part of our commitment to increase participation in higher education we have made several OCA resources free to study as open educational resources (OERs). These are available at http://open.oca.ac.uk/ and the first two are already available “Key Ideas in Photography” and “Art and Design 30th Anniversary Course” please try them out and let us know what other free courses would be of interest to you.

To compliment our free courses we have commissioned four short courses in interesting new areas including Psychogeography, Games Design, Reading Photography and Art in Education, these will be available later in 2018 or early 2019. These will provide practical skills for employment and enjoyment.

Finally as a small incentive to all students to continue studying with us, during the 2018/19 academic year (starting from 1st August) we are offering a £25 discount on your next course unit provided you enrol within three months of completing your current unit (completion is defined as the date we receive your final assignment report from your tutor).”

Image Credit: OCA student Anna Pike.

Posted by author: Will Woods

2 thoughts on “OCA news: A note from Will Woods, Principal

    • Hi Starrybird, that’s a good question. Student led is about involving students much more in the process of developing our curriculum, and designing our learning and teaching. In practice, this means consulting students more often, involving them in decision-making, and building an approach to creative arts education that allows students more room to determine their own learning. We’re currently working with OCASA to develop new ways of doing this, but any other ideas are more than welcome.
      Cheers, Christian

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