Archiving the Enriching Exchange Programs
30th Anniversary of Exchange Program with RCA
The Kyoto City University of Arts has concluded exchange programs and agreements with 19 universities around the world. The Faculty of Fine Arts and the Graduate School of Arts has concluded agreements with 11 universities in 9 countries in Europe, North America, and Asia, including the Royal College of Art (London, UK), Politecnico di Milano (Milan, Italy), Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts (Paris, France), Aalto University (Helsinki, Finland), and NSCAD University (Halifax, Canada) to offer exchange programs. In particular, we began an agreement with the Royal College of Art (RCA) in 1989, which marked the beginning of our exchange program, and we continue to exchange two students every year. The results of the exchange have been widely shared within the university and have provided valuable learning opportunities. Since 1996, the agreement has grown to include three student exchanges each year, and we recently celebrated the 30th anniversary of the exchange program with RCA. This year, as a commemorative project, we are compiling an archive of the results of the 30 years of the exchange program and making it available on our website (https://intl.kcua.ac.jp/rca-kcua30).
In this archiving project, we have conducted interviews with students who have studied abroad both as outbound and inbound students and have accumulated written records of their exchange experiences. One of the objectives of this project is to promote more active international exchange by communicating the appeal of study abroad programs unique to an art university to students within the university.
Internationalization During the Coronavirus Pandemic
The coronavirus pandemic made it difficult for students to travel overseas, and the exchange program was suspended. Students who had hoped to study abroad began to express their reluctance. Considering this situation, we plan to continue this archiving project as an art resource research project by openly holding dialogues, study groups, and events on campus with former study abroad students and exchange students and archiving them not only in written form but also in visual form. We would like to continue to visualize the characteristics and effects of exchange programs and practice activities that contribute to the internationalization of the university.
Internationalization and Curriculum
The above-mentioned international exchange efforts and achievements have served as an important guideline for the internationalization of the university. In particular, the Department of Design, Product Design, has learned a great deal from the efforts of overseas design universities and exchange partners to prepare for the reorganization planned for the university’s relocation in 2023. We are working to build an educational system that will break away from the traditional design education curriculum tied to Japan’s unique socio-industrial structure and create a curriculum that supports flexible exploration in the turbulent society of the new normal era.
Publicity poster for the website of the 30th anniversary of the exchange program with RCA