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Leeds Arts University established as Leeds College of Art gains university status

Leeds Arts University has been formally recognised as the new title for Leeds College of Art, having been granted full university status by the Privy Council. Having undergone a rigorous appraisal process Leeds Arts University will now be the only specialist arts university in the North of England.

Founded in 1846 as the Leeds Government School of Art and Design, Leeds Arts University has contributed significantly to the development of art education in Britain and across the world. The University has offered degree level provision for many years, and in 2016 was granted Taught Degree Awarding Powers.  Leeds Arts University has been recognised for its industry standard facilities at the Whatuni awards (winners in 2014 and 2016, runner up 2017) and is the highest ranked arts university in the UK for student satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2017, along with being the highest ranked university in Yorkshire. Leeds Arts University is also the highest ranked arts university in the Guardian University League Tables 2018 for Design & Crafts.

Former students include renowned artists Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Damien Hirst and award winning film director Clio Barnard. More recently students have gone on to work for international brands including Calvin Klein, Vivienne Westwood and Lululemon Athletica. Closer to home, alumni of the University are supporting Leeds bid for European Capital of Culture 2023, with branding and typeface designed by Lee Goater in collaboration with a creative team which includes former students at Hungry Sandwich Club and recent BA (Hons) Graphic Design graduate Alex Finney.

Professor Simone Wonnacott, Vice-Chancellor, Leeds Arts University, said:

“We welcome our university title as an important recognition of over 170 years of leading arts education in the UK. Our staff have worked incredibly hard to support this rigorous process, and I would like to thank them for their continued efforts. This announcement is a significant landmark in our history, and one which recognises our robust governance structure, academic and teaching standards and the facilities supporting the delivery of our higher education courses.

Leeds Arts University is proud to be the only specialist arts university in the North of England, and we will continue to strive to put ourselves at the forefront of arts education not just in the UK, but worldwide”

Mr Chris Clements, Chair of the Board of Governors, Leeds Arts University, added:

“We are delighted to gain university title, and are proud to be now known as Leeds Arts University. As a specialist arts university we have a strong reputation for delivering excellent teaching in a close-knit creative community, and will continue to nurture this environment in this new phase of growth.”

This announcement is a significant step in the current development of Leeds Arts University, which will also see the opening of a new state-of-the-art building expansion, and the introduction of five new creative degree courses, including BA (Hons) Filmmaking, BA (Hons) Fashion Design, BA (Hons) Fashion Branding with Communication, BA (Hons) Comic & Concept Arts and BMus (Hons) Popular Music Performance all launching in 2018, along with a new MA in Curation Practices starting in September 2017.

Editor’s Notes

For more information please contact: Sophie Miller Wallace, PR & Communications Officer, 0113 202 8044/414 747403 or, or Andrew Craske, Head of Marketing & Communications on 0113 202 8144 or 07920 766 323.