Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


EIT’S Reshaped Arts Degree Attracts Wide Acclaim

Media Release
EIT’S Reshaped Arts Degree Attracts Wide Acclaim


EIT’s radically restructured Bachelor of Visual Arts and Design is triggering strong interest from would-be students drawn to its project-based approach to learning.

The Eastern Institute of Technology is catching the first wave in a global sea change for creative practioner education in launching New Zealand’s first project-based arts and design degree.

"From next year, our restructured Bachelor of Visual Arts and Design will enable students to learn how the creative industry works in practice," says head of Arts and Design Dr Suzette Major who is leading the Hawke’s Bay institute’s far-reaching change in direction.

An expert in arts marketing, Major says EIT is already fielding many inquiries about the degree – ahead of applications opening in Mid-September.

“People wanting to enrol will be required to submit a portfolio of work and there will be interviews for the limited spaces available. In the last two years, all the places were filled before Christmas and obviously demand is going to be even stronger for the restructured degree, so those interested should get in early.”

An expert in arts marketing, Major believes it's vital that fledgling designers and artists master the wide range of skills needed to survive and thrive in the creative industries.

To that end, students starting the degree at EIT next year will undertake a series of real-life projects designed to develop their practical skills, techniques and theoretical knowledge while equipping them with the know-how required for working in, and developing and managing, their own practices.

The project-based approach to learning continues to gain traction with educators worldwide. It has been adopted by Harvard for its MBA programme, for example, and is being introduced across a range of disciplines.

EIT's initiative has attracted favourable comment from industry players including Jane Sutherland of Saatchi & Saatchi Worldide, who says the repackaged degree is “relevant, highly contemporary and forward thinking”.

The New York-based director of contemporary arts projects compares the “innovative programming” with leading US art/design institutions Parsons/The New School in New York, MIT in Boston and CalArts.

EIT’s aim is to produce graduates ready to go when they join the work force. For that reason, Major says, the degree also encompasses career and business management learning and allows for an intern work experience for final-year students.

"In the real world, practitioners have to be able to pitch their ideas, manage their creative processes and work collaboratively on projects. They are often juggling a number of projects at any one time. What we will be offering new students is a far more holistic, in-depth way of learning aligned to these needs.

"We are a small enough school and have an experienced team to do this fairly easily within the existing degree structure.

"And we didn't have to write the degree from scratch - what we are teaching now is intuitively project-based, though we've never used that term,” she says, pointing to a futuristic project students did for Napier’s Marine Parade and involvement in a real-life branding exercise for the Lake Tutira arboretum in northern Hawke’s Bay.”

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'

The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>

Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland