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News . Feature Stories . President, enrollment director make recruitment trip to Asia


October 09, 2013

President, enrollment director make recruitment trip to Asia

Nunes and Borden introduce CIA to high schools in China, Taiwan, Vietnam, and India in month-long trip.

By Ann McGuire

In the interest of expanding the Cleveland Institute of Art’s international enrollment, CIA President Grafton Nunes and Executive Director of Enrollment Robert Borden traveled to China, Taiwan, Vietnam, and India during September, meeting with representatives of recruitment agencies and high schools with strong visual arts programs.

“Increased global reach and international recruitment are key elements of our strategic planning and we look forward to welcoming a greater number of Asian students,” said Nunes. At present, CIA’s student body includes young artists from 11 foreign countries, with 13 students from China and three or fewer from each of the following countries: Korea, Germany, France, Taiwan, Vietnam, Canada, Guatemala, India, Saudi Arabia, and Trinidad.

In China – where a growing number of art and design students are seeking international bachelor of fine arts (BFA) programs – Nunes and Borden visited the International School of Beijing, spoke with faculty members and administrators from Communication University of China, and met with representatives of various student recruitment and marketing agencies adept at helping western colleges communicate with prospective students.

The two also visited the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) in Beijing. CIA entered into an affiliation agreement with CAFA last winter, becoming one of only 11 elite art schools worldwide that accepts graduates of CAFA’s International Foundation Course. The International Foundation Course is yearlong, intensive course of study in English and foundation studio skills that prepares students for undergraduate study at affiliate colleges in the U.S., Canada, U.K. and Australia.

Representing all 11 colleges now affiliated with CAFA, Nunes gave a brief address to incoming students and their parents at the opening day convocation for CAFA’s International Foundation Course.

“It was an honor and a very moving experience to address these talented and high-achieving students and their parents and talk about the opportunities available to them,” said Nunes. “I congratulated the students for being selected to study in such a prestigious program. I told them that we live in a world that increasingly communicates through visual means and that a good education in art and design will teach them to be proficient and eloquent in the grammar of visual expression. I stressed that art and design can be a bridge between nations, between people, transcending cultural differences and cultural experiences while emphasizing uniquely human experiences.”

The other 10 colleges affiliated with CAFA are, in the U.S., California College of the Arts in San Francisco, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and School of Visual Arts in New York City; in Canada, Emily Carr University of Art + Design in Vancouver; in the U.K., Birmingham Institute of Art and Design, University of the Arts London, Kingston University of London, and Arts University Bournemouth; and in Australia, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, and the College of Fine Arts at the University of New South Wales.

Creativity is a high priority in China, where some 100 new museums have opened annually in each of the last few years, peaking at nearly 400 in 2011, according to a May 21, 2013 report by National Public Radio. Last fall Shanghai opened two enormous art museums on the same day.

In Vietnam, Taiwan and India, Nunes and Borden visited 20 different high schools. They toured the University of Fine Art in Ho Chi Minh City, where they met both the dean and the university president. They began to develop new partnerships in both Taiwan and Vietnam with agencies that specialize in international student recruitment.

Borden said CIA is determined to make sure that Asian students are aware of CIA’s 15 majors in art and design, its world-class faculty, and superb facilities for making and learning about art.

“We’re working both nationally and internationally so we can have a diverse student population,” said Borden. “We visit more than 400 high schools and more than 550 total events across the U.S. every year.”

Above, Huang Li, director of the International Foundation Course at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, welcomes President Nunes to the school’s 2013 convocation, at which he spoke to faculty, students and their parents about the value of art and design education.

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