New package of support unveiled for Conservatoire’s class of 2020 graduates
A new graduate funding initiative, career development opportunities and future performances on the RCS stage ”¦ they’re just a few ways in which the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland will support the Class of 2020 as they take their first steps on the professional path in unprecedented times.
RCS, in collaboration with its Students’ Union, has created a bespoke programme to help ease graduates’ transition into the performing and production arts industry.
Support services include the RCS Make It Happen Lockdown Fund for 2020 undergraduates and postgraduates where forty awards of £500 will be available financial or access to specialist mentoring that can be used for research and development and to help dream up ideas, projects and plans post-lockdown.
Given the challenging global circumstances in which students are graduating, RCS will extend access to online mental health support and RCS counselling services for six months after graduation for all students graduating in 2020. This includes Togetherall, which offers around-the-clock access to online support.
The initiative also includes continuing and free access to the conservatoire’s specialist services including the recording studio and library facilities.
The class of 2020 can also apply for thirty free student and graduate places at SHIFT, a progressive five-day online workshop, from September 7 to 11, facilitated by leaders in design innovation, performing and production arts, screen, curation and creative project management and more. SHIFT is a partnership between RCS, The Glasgow School of Art and Queen Margaret University.
Professor Jeffrey Sharkey, Principal of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, said: “We recognise that the class of 2020 is graduating into a much-changed and greatly challenged environment.
“We are so proud of all our graduates who continually inspire us with their creativity and commitment to their art. To the class of 2020, we know you will go on to do great things you are resilient, adaptable and your ideas and stories are more important now than ever before. We wish you all the very best for whatever comes next.”
Jasmine Munns, President of the RCS Students’ Union, said: “We hope that this graduation package will maintain a link between graduating students and the Conservatoire. During this time, it is important that graduating students are supported through the continued access to services and events while they navigate through the new landscape that has been carved into the creative industry by Covid-19, and we hope that this will go some way to provide that extra support. “
Students from across the disciplines worked with senior management to create the package of support.
“The students provided balanced and insightful suggestions in response to the challenges that they will face when they graduate, especially in regards to wellbeing and skills development,” said Jasmine.
“We greatly appreciate the work that was carried out to try and facilitate as many of these suggestions as possible. This has been an extremely challenging year but everyone who is graduating should be incredibly proud of what they’ve accomplished, despite the obstacles they have faced.
“It has been heartening to see what students have been able to achieve and how they have been able to adapt during this time, and I wish everyone who is graduating the best of luck for the future.”
The Class of 2020 Support Programme features:
Opportunity to extend use of your RCS email account
This gives 2020 graduates the opportunity to retain full access to their email and their Microsoft365 accounts for the academic year 2020/21. This will also include all the library online resources available via Shibboleth.
Extended access to students’ mental health and counselling services
Given the challenging global circumstances in which students are graduating, RCS will extend access to online mental health support and RCS counselling services for six months after graduation for all students graduating in 2020. This includes Togetherall, which offers accessto online support 24/7. Log in via an active RCS email (see above) address.
Make It Happen Lockdown Fund 2020
The RCS Make It Happen Lockdown Fund will be a one-off source of support and resource for 2020 graduates (UG/PG) to begin to undertake the development of new ideas and to support them in finding their place within this evolving context of the performing and production arts.
Forty Make It Happen Lockdown Fund 2020 awards will be available that can be used for research and development and to help you to dream up ideas, projects and plans post-lockdown. The focus is on you as a new graduate and emerging artist, and to support you to make some space to develop your ideas.
There are two opportunities available to the graduating class of 2020 within Make It Happen:
- financial awards of £500 or
- access to specialist mentoring (worth £500) for international students
Awards will be made through a competitive application process. Applications will open in mid-July.
Access to Learning
Having digital access to selected modules, resources and other learning opportunities would offer students an opportunity to keep developing their skills and insights into the industry.
For the academic year 20/21, RCS will offer 2020 graduates:
- 25% discounts on all RCS short courses
- Free access to selected modules subject to availability more details to be announced
Access to the RCS Recording Studio
RCS will offer up to 1.5 hours of free access per person to sessions in Recording Studio A during academic year 2020/21 to 2020 graduating students. This will be bookable.
Graduate Places at SHIFT
A five-day day online workshop to kick-start your career from 7-11 September. Thirty free places for RCS students and new graduates available.
Cover the practical aspects of setting up a company, build a strong freelance portfolio and be inspired by artists and creative companies further on in their field who will share their experience, insights and challenges. Meet your peers from GSA, QMU and artists from other Scottish universities.
Applications open early July.
£5 tickets for all RCS public performances 2020/21
Future RCS performance opportunities
We are developing opportunities for 2020 graduates to return to the conservatoire to perform. This will be curated via an open call-out to 2020 RCS graduates for submissions to a commissioning panel who will select a programme of individual and ensemble work. The specific timelines for this are still to be determined but we would anticipate this will run during academic years 20-21 and 21-22. More details will be shared as they develop.
All alumni of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland enjoy a range of benefits and services (subject to availability).