I was awarded the Global Innovation fund to send small delegations to visit the leading Nordic art and design schools with the aim of establishing prestigious Nordic PGT, PGR and RKE exchanges in ECA's School of Art and School of Design that could contribute to jointly validated International MFA programmes.
Very few PGT, and even fewer PGR, students undertake Erasmus+ exchanges. To reverse this trend, ECA propose to pilot international MFA programmes as a specialism within our MFA Contemporary Art Practice and our MFA programmes in Design. Nested within the School of Art’s and School of Design’s PGT programmes, an MFA Nordic International pathway would enable students to study in a different Norden art institute for up to two of their four semesters of study. Students on this programme pathway may, additionally, be able to undertake an Erasmus+ placement in between Years 1 and 2 of their studies. This project will ensure that our academic staff also take part in a teaching exchange with one of our partners biannually and that the partnerships are rooted in a reciprocal RKE network.
Visits will take place with HEI members of the KUNO visual art network in Norden and the Baltics as well as HEIs that have a good subject-level fit with Edinburgh College of Art.
We also intend to use the visits to establish an International Training Network (ITN) for European practice-based PhD students studying in Norden on behalf of the Scottish Graduate School for the Arts & Humanities (SGSAH). These closely inter-related projects will facilitate staff and student mobility and significantly enhance The University of Edinburgh’s international research and teaching reputation.
Since the UK voted to leave the EU once the project was running, it has shifted to secure teaching and RKE partnerships that can be sustained beyond the (possible) loss of Erasmus+ in Scotland. This means the funding focus is more on RKE than Erasmus+
KUNO's short course exchange mechanism and the cooperative approach of the Norden/Baltic states has been particularly enlightening and presents a valuable model for Scottish HEIs. We have been working with potential project partners we have visited to secure European funding for a COST Action and, additionally, an ETN. The April 2017 SAR conference in Helsinki will enable this to be consolidated further and enable a final set of visits to take place.