With over 4,000 UAL graduates living and working throughout the country, China has become home to our largest alumni community outside the UK. Last year we launched the official UAL China Alumni Association to help our creative community with professional networking and socialising opportunities. Following on from the success of UAL’s visit to Shanghai in 2014, the Alumni Relations team recently visited the country’s capital Beijing, to launch the brand new UAL Beijing Alumni Association by hosting two special events in this exciting city.
Thanks to a number of factors including the growing economy and aftermath of the Beijing Olympics, China’s creative sector is flourishing and evolving fast. With this hot topic in mind, graduates were invited to take part in an interesting open discussion on the local creative industry and look into ideas on how the government can support emerging designers, why the industry is changing so much and what its future holds.
Chaired by Simon Betts, Dean of Wimbledon, a panel of experienced UAL alumni (including UAL Beijing Alumni Association President, Joe Oliver (alumnus of both CSM and Chelsea)) also spoke about their own experiences working in the sector and gave their advice to many new graduates wanted to start out in the city be it working for an established company or as a freelancer. They spoke of the importance of being part of a supportive network such as the UAL Beijing Alumni Association, embracing new technologies and developing new ideas. View photos from the discussion via our Facebook page.
To formally launch the UAL Beijing Alumni Association, 140 UAL alumni joined us to celebrate at a dedicated UAL Alumni Reception hosted in the prestigious National Centre for Performing Arts in the heart of the city. UAL was honoured to have the opportunity hold the event within the beautifulEvolving Design for Performance exhibition, curated by staff from Wimbledon College of Arts.
UAL Pro Vice-Chancellor and Head of Colleges (CCW), Professor Chris Wainwright, welcomed everyone and gave an update on the latest news from UAL, while Wimbledon College of Arts staff talked about the exhibition, which is the largest ever showcase of European theatre design seen in China.
This was also a great opportunity to formally introduce Joe Oliver as the President of the UAL Beijing Alumni Association and for him to welcome suggestions and ideas for future activities from everyone. View photos from the reception via our Facebook page.
The UAL Beijing Alumni Association is to be run by a committee of alumni volunteers who aim to unite and support local graduates through regular networking and social events and the sharing of opportunities and information. The committee work closely with the UAL Shanghai Alumni Association to encourage all graduates from across the country to feel part of the growingChinese alumni community and encourage members to follow their lead and establish groups near them.