NYT: SCAD Hong Kong leading the way for international design schools in Asia

From Schools of Design Extend Their Reach Into Asia in today’s New York Times:

The Savannah College of Art and Design opened a campus in September 2010 in Sham Shui Po, a district of Hong Kong, after extensive research on opportunities in Asia. The school spent 250 million Hong Kong dollars, or $32 million, of its own capital to revitalize the former North Kowloon Magistracy building, which it received from the Hong Kong government in 2009 amid some controversy that the heritage site was given to a foreign school instead of a local group. […]

“It makes perfect sense for us to be in Asia, as many of our graduates will be looking to develop creative careers here,” [Grant Preisser, associate vice president of SCAD Hong Kong] said. […]

Having a presence in Asia can also benefit students at the school’s main campuses in Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia. (It also has a study-abroad location in Lacoste, France).

Still, SCAD Hong Kong had trouble with recruitment in the beginning. According to The South China Morning Post, it opened in 2010 with only 141 students, or less than half its initial target of 300. At full capacity, the school could hold up to 800 students.

Last autumn, it got its total student enrollment up to 330. About 60 percent are from Hong Kong, and 40 percent from 15 other countries and territories.

The piece also notes a partnership that Parsons The New School for Design has established in Shanghai and a possible one in Mumbai. France’s Esmod has five branches in Asia.

But SCAD’s efforts are the centerpiece of the article, and for a pretty simple reason:

SCAD Hong Kong is one of few cross-border design schools that are actually up and running in Asia.

The piece notes SCAD’s high tuition, but notes the level of financial aid, which is considerable. A friend of mine with substantial financial aid just left the States for the winter quarter in Hong Kong. What an incredible opportunity that is.

A couple pics embedded from the SCAD Hong Kong Facebook page: