This wasn’t in the script: Bristol withdraws film students’ access to ‘vital’ resource

‘I was offered a place for film at UWE, I wish I would have taken that instead’


Film students at Bristol University have received communication telling them that they will no longer be able to use Adobe Creative Cloud licences to do their practical work from home from the 14th of August 2022.

Third year Film and Television student, *Ben, explains that this licence includes “Photoshop, Indesign, Illustrator, After Effects, Premiere Pro and much more – all industry grade stuff we will need to use”.

Students have been informed that they will no longer have costed access to the programme but instead will have to spend £200 per person (on a private license) or use the university’s suites.

In email correspondence to their department one student outlined the issue of social inclusion. Second year film student, *Lola, highlighted that: “Many students simply do not have the funds to pay £200 a year for the software that is vital to their work.”

One of the chief concerns amongst students is that the current editing suites do not have the capacity to house every student. Another second year Bristol student, *Charlie, told The Tab of how they had been “booking it (the suite) for an hour some days before another person was in”, in order to complete compulsory work. This was when students were still given personal access to Premiere Pro.

Due to a return to “normal” teaching and a removal of many covid restrictions the department have decided that they need not pay for students to be able to utilise “editing software” from home or remotely.

This has angered many of the students in the department who have been left with a sour taste in their mouths.

For an institution that boasts being the seventh most employable university in the country, students are confused at where their tuition fees are going. *Lola despairs: “This is genuinely ridiculous what the fuck are our fees for if they don’t include access to essential software?”

Film student, *Austin, went as far as to say, “I was offered a place for film at UWE, I wish I would have taken that instead”.

In response to being asked what accommodation there will be for those students impacted by covid or travel restrictions next year, a University of Bristol Spokesperson said:

“During the pandemic when in-person teaching was not possible, the University did everything it could to provide students with the right tools to allow to them to continue with their studies at home.

“For students studying Film and Television, the decision was made to give them Adobe Creative Cloud licences which gave them access to a range of programmes including video editing software Premiere Pro.

“This was always a temporary measure whilst students were unable to access facilities on site and we’re sorry if anyone was under the misapprehension that this was going to be permanent.

“Students can still access all the programmes provided by Adobe via University computers within the department and additional equipment is being introduced including new iMacs and MacBooks which come with a range of industry-standard editing software.

“In addition, so that students are able to continue to access professional editing software on their personal laptops at home, we are moving to DaVinci Resolve as our main platform for teaching and a version of this is available to download for free. A more extensive version will be available on computers in the department and full training for this system will be provided from next semester in addition to regular teaching.”

When approached for comment, the SU officers said: ‘Thank-you for bringing this to our attention, we will reach out to the Film Department course reps and offer our support.’

All students that The Bristol Tab have spoken to have asked to remain anonymous as they do not wish to dampen their chances of attaining a degree.

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