Earlier this year Art and Design at RMIT was rated sixteenth in the world by QS University Rankings; one of the world’s leading agencies measuring and comparing the quality of over 800 universities across the globe. This places Art at RMIT University amongst the best-of-the-best in the world. This is a great achievement re ecting the dedicated work of the School of Art’s staff over many years. But it also testi es to the exceptional quality and commitment of our students who continue to perform at the highest level in their studies and in their emerging art practices.
2016 sees a group of over 200 such students graduating from the School of Art who deserve our acknowledgment and congratulations. This year students are graduating with quali cations ranging from the three-year-long Bachelor of Arts: Fine Art through to our Doctor of Philosophy that comes after many years of sustained study and focused research. All have worked hard to achieve their personal milestones and all deserve our congratulations and acknowledgment. Because it is their efforts that win institutions such as the School of Art, the world status it enjoys.
Choosing to study art at university is not an easy decision to make, for unlike many other professions art will always be a precarious way to make a living. Yet art schools across Australia continue to enroll more-and- more people looking to make art their vocation. Indeed art schools have an unusual student demographic. They tend to attract people who are older than the usual student cohort. People, many of whom, have had a few year’s experience in ‘the real world’ looking to study in an area that offers more of a way of life than a job as such. Students studying art do so knowing that this is what they truly want to do. They tend to be motivated by a desire to engage the world and to make a contribution. So when an art school like RMIT’s wins an accolade such as ‘sixteenth best in the world’, it re ects this commitment of the students to forego the nancial security of a more pro table profession in favour of something that is their passion and love. We are privileged to be able to support students who want to learn and want to do well out of a genuine sense of making a life-long commitment to the practice of art. It is our job, as staff, to make sure graduates Are equipped with the skills, both technical and conceptual, to be ready for work that will support their living.
Next year RMIT’s School of Art will celebrate 130 years of training artists and crafts people. Through that time the students’ experience has been central to the concerns and endeavors of the staff, as it continues to be. On behalf of all the staff in the School of Art I congratulate this year’s graduates on their achievements and wish them the best in their futures. The school takes great pride in its history but even more pride in its graduates, who make that history a reality.
Professor Julian Goddard
Head of School
RMIT University, School of Art