Aardman has announced a new global Partnership Programme for universities, run by its training facility the Aardman Academy.

Exclusive to five UK and ten overseas Partners, the programme supports students and academic staff by delivering animation training online and in person, providing portfolio feedback and a suite of masterclasses and events. UK based students will be invited to visit Aardman to see the working studio in action.

With three tiers available (Partner, Member, Associate), the first Partners on board include The Northern School of Art, with Aardman Academy courses made available to students this academic year. New York’s School of Visual Arts has joined as a Member.

Through the Partnership Programme, the Aardman Academy intends to build deeper relationships with universities and colleges, leading to meaningful two-way conversation with the animation industry.

Mark Simon Hewis, Head of the Aardman Academy, said: “We’ve been working incredibly hard to find a solution where we can support both students and universities alike while striving to get as close to an open-door policy as possible without diluting an industry-leading level of teaching and training. Our new partnership scheme allows us to plug directly into degree courses, and collaborate with academics and heads of schools from across the world to offer an insight into the industry that so many current students are looking for from their chosen courses. I’m so pleased we’re now able to start connecting with universities and academics and welcoming them into the wonderful community we’ve created at the Aardman Academy.”

Patrick Chapman, Vice Principal (Employability & External Relations) at The Northern School of Art, added: ‘We are incredibly excited about our partnership with the Aardman Academy. Our animation and illustration degree students alongside those studying production design and modelmaking are thrilled at the opportunities on offer. The relationship with Aardman is a perfect fit between an art school and a world-famous creative partner. We share a vision and goals for developing talent and enabling everyone to have the opportunity to achieve their potential in this exciting industry. The School, which recently revealed a 91% satisfaction rate in its class of 2022, better than most universities, is focused on providing excellence to its students. Our Aardman Academy Partner status underpins and extends this. The School is at the very heart of growth in the regional screen industry with its Screen faculty teaching filmmaking, production design, costume, acting, and modelmaking & VFX. The School is also behind The Northern Studios, the largest commercial film and tv production facility in the region which has just opened.”

Established in 2013, the Aardman Academy was designed to nurture talent and strengthen ties between the animation industry and education, providing development for animation professionals as well as outreach training and talent progression opportunities.

Jon Creamer

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