Falmouth University is making the insane decision to cut the Art Foundation course

I interviewed ex-foundation student Lily, whose petition is on fire right now

A foundation diploma in art and design is possibly one of the most important building blocks for a young and unsure artist. For some, it’s the year that they decide what and who they want to be, and the best thing about is that it’s free.

That’s why Lily, who started a petition to counter this decision, and countless other students and concerned people are making a stand against this insane decision by Falmouth University to once again ignore the needs of artists in training. What makes this really concerning is the fact that this comes after a string of similar events in recent times. Remember the Falmouth sign controversy?

As Maria, a supporter from Germany puts it, whoever “thinks that a foundation course can simply be cut out should not be anywhere near the arts.”

I spoke to Lily, who thinks this vital course is too valuable to lose – the repercussions could be drastic.

What’s so important about this cause?

I recently heard that the Falmouth Foundation Diploma in Art and Design has been suspended. This means that no applicants will be taken from here on out, the staff will lose their jobs, and the Foundation will end.Foundation trip to the Bauhaus Archive in Berlin. Photo by Lily.

And why is it so important to you?

As a recent alumni I was devastated to hear this, the course gave me and almost sixty years worth of students before me so much – room to experiment, grow and develop a visual language I wouldn’t otherwise have; but also space to grow as a person. I was also devastated as a local. The course brings so much talent to Falmouth, including local talent, and without it I think a lot of Cornish people might abandon the idea of further education in the Arts which would be a real travesty.

Again, the course lent me an environment in which to explore my interests within art and design without the pressure of paying £9,000, and allowed me time to really think about what it was I wanted to do. I also met some brilliant and amazing people I wouldn’t have otherwise met – it gave me an opportunity to work with and around people who wanted to study different things within the arts, and they are contacts I’ll have for good and don’t take for granted.

How would local life suffer after this?

The intake from Foundation to Degree at Falmouth is around 50% or more of the course each year. The standard at which these students are working is indefinitely higher than those coming straight from A-Level (in most cases..) so it will be detrimental to Falmouth’s talented intake, as well as intake of students already passionate and respectful of the town and their surroundings.arts-2

Do you think there’s a disconnect between the people that run the university and the people actually studying here?

I do. I think that the management are seeing the University as a business model rather than an Arts university or somewhere to inspire learning and creativity. This is really sad – it means the Foundation course has been suspended based entirely on a profit margin. I think anyone remotely creative or in support of the Arts would disagree with this way of thinking, the Foundation might not be a worthwhile investment money wise, but I don’t think the management know the mistake they are making.

It was great to chat to Lily about such an important issue.

You can help. If you’re as passionate about the importance of the course, you can make change directly by clicking here. In just a day, Lily’s managed to collect nearly 5,000 signatures.

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