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19 Students Awarded Degree Show Funds

Sabbatical Officers at Arts SU have awarded 19 students from across University of the Arts London (UAL) with degree show funds that focus on sustainability!

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Written by Minna Ellis – CSM Officer 2022 – 24

If you’ve ever gone to art school, you’ve probably come across a 'degree show'. It’s the big show at the end of the course, where everyone gets together to celebrate the amazing achievements of the graduating cohort. It’s also a time when students spend vast amounts of money on their work because this is IT, this is the end of their degree – so why not give it their all?

When I became an officer in 2022, one of the student issues I wanted to address was course costs. Our cost of living research report found that students spend hundreds, sometimes thousands of pounds on their course costs, but especially for the degree shows. Furthermore, many students are disadvantaged but fall through the cracks with traditional bursaries and scholarships and are left out of pocket for their shows.

In 2023 I created the first ‘degree show fund’, a small trial at the college I represent the students of, I used my portion of the campaigns budget to grant 10 students £100 towards their degree show costs. With over 40 applications, a selection panel made up of SU staff awarded the 10 awards to students from undergraduate and postgraduate studies with compelling projects, creativity and a commitment to environmental sustainability in their art and design practices.

Students fed back that the funding helped ‘push ideas’ further and the quality of the work I saw at the shows last year was incredible. 

This year, I was ready to push the fund even further – and so brought in my fellow officer Daniela Commey (Union Affairs 2023-2024) to help the fund reach more students across UAL. We had many students from disadvantaged backgrounds apply and are delighted to have offered 19 bursaries worth £150 each to students from all 4 UAL colleges this year. 

Daniela said: "As Union affairs I thought it’s important to secure more funding to expand the Sabbatical Officer Degree show fund to reach as many students as possible, as the cost of study is a university wide-issue, and the unique costs that come with putting on a degree show aren’t fully factored in — all art students should have the chance to showcase practice and ideas without financial restraint."

Our winners this year are: 

Vardan Bansal (CSM) | Kai Fung Dennis Ngan (Camberwell) | Poojan Gupta (CSM) | Xinyi Bai (CSM) | Molly Thompson (Chelsea) | Stephanie Gu (LCF) | Isla Smith (CSM) | Sashka Jones (CSM) Zhanlan Wang (Camberwell) | Yuanyuan Hu (LCC) | Scout Macpherson (LCF) | Yarden Fudim (CSM) | Kc Gardiner (CSM) | Shamim Ghaderi (CSM) | Kinga Bialek (LCF) | Zev Tidy (CSM) | Kit McCarthy (Chelsea) | Constance Parker (Camberwell) | Ajay Jagdish Singh (LCC)

We wish the winners from 2023 and 2024 all the best in their future creative endeavours – they are all fantastic and ready to take on the world!


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