A-Z of Higher Education Colleges: Falmouth College of Art

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The Independent Online
Age: Pushing 100.

History: Created in 1902 by Anne Maria Fox, from a local Quaker family, as a private art school for little old ladies who liked to splash on canvas. Famous artists such as Barbara Hepworth supported its becoming a recognised art college.

Address: Set among the lush sub-tropical gardens of Falmouth, a seaside resort on the south western peninsula of Cornwall.

Ambience: Wonderful views of the sea from the old Fox family house on the hill, now the oldest part of the college. Modern buildings put up in 1970s, 1980s and 1990s in the Fox gardens, which stretch down to the sea. They include a building for fine art, another for ceramics and the new library. Some might find it remote - Plymouth is 70 miles away - but locals claim it's buzzy, particularly in summer. Great for water sports.

Vital statistics: A college of art, design and communication, it has 1,500 full and part-time students, one-half female, who come from all over the country and abroad. Overseas students are 10 per cent of the total, many from the Far East and Scandinavia. As many as 80 students come from Norway. Falmouth is one of a number of colleges hit by a new Norwegian decision to cap the number of students able to study art and design courses in the UK. No sports facilities, though there is a sports coordinator who organises anything from horse-riding to Tae Kwon-do.

Added value: New degrees being launched in spatial design: interior and landscape, and history of modern art and design. Plus a postgraduate diploma in broadcast TV and an MA in contemporary visual arts.

Easy to get into? Two or three A level passes for cultural studies; BTEC diploma foundation art and design for studio-based courses, plus portfolio.

Glittering alumni: Tacita Dean, artist shortlisted for the 1999 Turner Prize; Juliet Morris, BBC TV presenter; Fergus Walsh BBC TV news hound; Martyn Perks, designer.

Transport links: Take the train to Truro and change (four hours from London), or the coach.

Who's the boss? Professor Alan Livingston.

Teaching: 18 out of 24 for communication and media studies; 20 for history of art; 24 for art and design.

Research: Did better than all the new universities and better than two old universities.

Financial health: In the black now after dipping into the red in 1994- 95.

Night-life: Live music venue, The Pirate, hosts bands like Symposium and acts as night club. Paradox nightclub provides nightly music, including student night. Nearest cinema is at Truro. Falmouth Arts Centre shows movies of the moment.

Cheap to live in? The first hall of residence, named after 19th century Falmouth painter Henry Scott Tuke opens this autumn. A room will cost pounds 57 a week without food. For local rented accommodation you pay pounds 40-50.

Buzz-request: Two pints of Doombar and a pastie and chips, please (student meal).

Next week: The College of Guidance Studies.

Lucy Hodges