Savannah College of Art and Design (Scad) is a private, non-profit institution which confers bachelor's and master's degrees on students around the world.
The university's vision is for its operations in Hong Kong to become the leading site for the study of digital media in Asia. This vision will play a valuable role in helping Hong Kong develop into a leading regional centre for creative industries, says John Paul Rowan, vice-president of Scad Hong Kong.
Globally, the university offers degree courses in 46 majors and more than 50 minors. Students at Scad Hong Kong follow the American approach to undergraduate education, namely four years of instruction which provides advanced study, internships and preparation for creative careers.
"Graduate courses of study are designed for dedicated, motivated students who are committed to the pursuit of excellence through advanced study," Rowan says.
Local courses range from advertising to visual effects. The university's bachelor of fine arts in advertising parallels professional practice and often involves working with real clients.
Collaboration with students in illustration, photography, graphic design and other Scad courses is also used to create a model of interaction within the advertising profession. "Drawing and observational skills are emphasised throughout the curriculum," he says.
The university, which will open in September, also offers undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in graphic design that have a strong emphasis on conceptual thinking. Students are encouraged to view the world differently, shift focus, look at things from multiple perspectives and understand how perception influences meaning.
"Graphic design is about more than problem solving, as students explore the creative challenge of determining what the problems are and what opportunities exist to explore new solutions," Rowan says.
Degrees in illustration, interactive design and video game development, motion media design, photography and visual effects are also on offer.
"Above all, Scad exists to prepare talented students for professional careers," Rowan says.
The university's ability to offer this experience to its students and prepare them for professional careers hinges upon hiring and retaining the most qualified individuals.
With this in mind, professors and staff are being sought continuously to join Scad Hong Kong and to meet the needs of the student body as it grows.
There are a variety of openings for professors and staff at the Hong Kong campus.
Given that courses of study in Hong Kong will focus on digital media, areas of specialisation range from advertising, animation, graphic design and illustration to interactive design and video game development, motion media design, photography and visual effects.
Applicants are expected to offer not only the appropriate academic credentials, but also energy and a strong entrepreneurial streak. Ideal candidates should also have outstanding academic or professional experience and a passion for working with students.
Once aboard, successful candidates will benefit from extensive resources that promote a high quality of life, learning and working at Scad.
"Full-time employees and their spouses or partners are eligible to take one free class per quarter after 90 days of full-time employment," Rowan says. Children of full-time employees will be eligible for a full tuition waiver after one year of employment.
Longer term, career opportunities and personal growth are available to employees as opportunities arise. "These vary depending on the individual's skills and experience," Rowan says.
Goal in sight
- Scad Hong Kong's vision to become Asia's pre-eminent site for the study of digital media will play a valuable role in helping the city achieve its goal of becoming a creative hub
- Rowan says the creative industry is essential for the long-term sustainable development of Hong Kong, which echoes government plans to make the city a centre for creative industries in Asia
- Within this area, animation, motion media, visual effects, video game design, illustration, graphic design, photography and advertising are all areas with potential