Creative Cities: 5 Schools that thrive in Artistic education

“Art, freedom and creativity will change society faster than politics.” – Victor Pinchuk

Imagine a world completely devoid of artistic expression.

Or perhaps… don’t. Because a world without art is nothing more than a blank. Dull. Dreary. Grey. Or maybe colourless. Without art, there’s little to no food for the far-fetched imagination, and without imagination what becomes of the innate creative flair?

In a world stripped of creativity, there are no fashion labels, books, magazines, movies or music albums. Without vision, how would we explore, discover, or grow? Without creativity there is no colour, no dance, no reflection, no debate.

In a world without art, there’s no longer a Valencia – the vibrant Spanish region that has come to be known as the City of Arts and Sciences; 350,000 square metres of pure, unadulterated culture and craft. San Francisco would straight up disappear, taking with it all the well-known muralled gems of Mission District, as well as countless pop-culture mementos – like the Otis Redding classic (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay, for which this city served as muse. Bogotá would fall into steep decline, losing its new-found status as a global hotspot for street and graffiti art, while the whole world would submerge into dim, insipid chaos, completely bare of meaning, purpose and cultural understanding.

“The arts matter because creativity is an infinite and enduring resource, one to draw upon in both the most joyous and the most challenging of moments,” Sarah Burford notes in an article for National Endowment for the Arts. “The arts strengthen community bonds, create new means of connection and understanding, and offer a continuous, powerful, and resilient source of individual and collective identity.”

Here are 5 schools set in some of the world’s most creative regions, who also thrive in all forms of artistic education…


The Singapore government has supported the Creative Industries Development Strategy since 2002, demonstrating regional support and dedication to all things surrounding the diverse world of art.

As such, design-thinking has become integral to Singapore’s cityscape – from MNCs like DBS launching its innovation facility, to public services like Khoo Teck Puat Hospital snagging numerous awards for both concept and construction. In line with these notable achievements, Singapore was granted City of Design status back in 2015, recognising the nation’s long-term commitment to using culture and creativity to drive sustainable development goals.

With LASALLE College of the Arts standing as Singapore’s premier contemporary arts and design institution, the college is perfectly placed to cultivate creative potential. A number of prominent alumni have gone on to shape the creative landscape of the region, including Boo Junfeng from BA (Hons) Film – a former student whose recent film Apprentice bagged the NETPAC Award at the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival; and Khairuddin Hori, who graduated from LASALLE’s MA Fine Arts and went on to become Deputy Director of Artistic Programming at Palais de Tokyo – Europe’s largest gallery for contemporary art. Khairuddin has since returned to Singapore, where he helms Chan + Hori Contemporary as Curatorial Director.

On top of this, the college has strong links with the creative industries, connecting students with a wealth of invaluable artistic avenues from the Singapore Biennale, to Art Stage Singapore, the Singapore International Festival of the Arts (SIFA), The National Gallery Singapore and many more. LASALLE stands as your home away from home in a visionary and dynamic city, offering an immersive creative education experience equipped with an abundance of artistic opportunities.


Spread across three continents, six campuses and six well-known cultural metropoles, Shillington offers great flexibility for international students, regardless of where they’re from.

Whether you prefer the laid-back creative vibe of the school’s Sydney or Brisbane campus; you’re keen to soak up the art scene and café culture of New York or Melbourne; or dream of immersing yourself in the pumping music and history of Manchester or London – the world is pretty much your oyster with Shillington Education. And as the programmes are only three months in length, it’s easy enough to get the visas to study in these countries for the duration of your course.

The balanced blend of theory and practical elements offered by Shillington mean you’ll leave readily-accustomed to the tight deadlines, client briefs and the expertise needed to be successful in this lucrative field.

One of the best things about Shillington Education is that students don’t need any previous experience to succeed. Yes, seriously! There’s no need to submit a portfolio or sit through rounds of stress-inducing interviews; it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from, Shillington is willing to invest in your potential.

But rest assured that you will leave Shillington with a stunning design portfolio tucked neatly under your belt. Acknowledging that student work has the power to speak for itself, the institution grants access to the equipment and facilities that feed creative flair. After scrolling through hundreds of digital, print and packaging projects, you’ll find yourself both intrigued and inspired to create a visionary masterpiece within a three-month (full-time) or nine-month (part-time) time frame.

Students are pleased to find that every Shillington class enjoys at least three industry guest lectures from leading graphic designers and creatives, allowing you to pick their brains, learn from their mistakes and get tips on conquering the competitive world of creative design. Not to mention that all teachers are practising graphic designers, so they really do practice what they preach.

These benefits are amplified by the employment opportunities that remain open long after you graduate. The institution’s unrivalled industry network and unparalleled resources put you face-to-face with some of the most influential design firms in the business, giving you the confidence to thrive throughout the job hunt and land your dream career.


Embedded firmly amidst Hong Kong’s vibrant creative scene, students of HKU’s Faculty of Arts also make the most of everything this cultural hub presents.

“As one of the oldest and largest faculties in HKU, we have an enviable reputation as a top academic enterprise in the region,” states Dean of the Faculty, Professor Derek Collins. “Located in Hong Kong, we are ideally situated to carry out the task of investigating how the humanities, particularly the key elements of the East-West interface, have been shaped and transformed in modern times.

“You will find that within each department, program and discipline, our staff and students are all dedicated to fulfilling the mission of the Faculty to develop creative talents and analytical skills and to further a broad appreciation of the intrinsic joys and value of the Arts,” the Professor explains.

“Our aim is to enable all Faculty members to develop to their full potential. We believe that as well-informed, innovative and happy individuals, our staff and students are well equipped for the challenges of a rapidly changing world. And they are able to serve the community both locally and internationally in a host of fields.”

Teachers here are dedicated to the pursuit of ground-breaking research, instilling students with the crucial analytical, linguistic, critical and creative skills needed to enrich and revolutionise the diverse creative field.


Previously ranked among the world’s top 10 cities for attracting the most creative minds – analysed on aspects like economy, research and development, cultural interaction, liveability, environment and accessibility – it’s hardly a surprise that Hong Kong is known to pioneer the arts.

And after an intense political process involving a number of government agencies, artists, arts and culture organisations, land developers, urban planners and architects, the city has developed into a major Art and Culture District after more than a decade of devising and hard work.

Described as the University for Creative Careers, SCAD offers more degree programmes and specialisations than any other art and design university in the region. With more than 40 programmes to directly match your passion, and an expansive portfolio of 70 minors and certificate programmes, SCAD offers world-class degrees in four distinct locations – including Atlanta, Hong Kong, Lacoste and Savannah – and via online learning.

Each location provides a set of programmes specifically-tailored to suit its unique urban backdrop. No matter where you choose to base your studies, you’ll have the chance to explore them all by opting to pursue foundation studies, general education courses, electives and more in any of SCAD’s unforgettable campus settings.

With so many exciting things lined up for creative industries worldwide, there’s never been a better time to discover the world while launching your artistic career. As a student at SCAD, you can take advantage of once-in-a-lifetime study abroad options, from short-term trips and excursions, to a full, quarter-long immersion in the picturesque landscape of Lacoste, France.


Set in a city ranked as the UK’s ‘best place to live’, described as “…cool, classy and supremely creative”; not to mention its status as the spiritual home of Banksy, and the world’s fourth-most inspiring city; Bristol is the place to be in terms of UK arts and culture.

Forming a vital part of an esteemed Russell Group institution, the University of Bristol’s Faculty of Arts is a recognised academic centre of excellence in global higher education. Covering everything from prehistoric archaeology to avant-garde cinema – all of which are informed by cutting-edge research from the most outstanding scholars – the faculty encompasses a range of education settings and education formats.

The institution itself recently launched a major programme of investment in the faculty, revitalising its beautiful villas and decorating them with the latest, leading-edge teaching technology. A multimedia centre for language learning has newly opened, for example, while the Arts and Social Science Library has undergone a major renovation, highlighting an institutional-wide devotion to cultivating both talent and passion in the arts.

“Beyond the University, the city and region offer incomparable opportunities for diversion and enjoyment when you feel the need for a break from your studies,” the Faculty website notes. “In short, this is quite simply an outstanding place to live and work. If you are a prospective student, we hope you will find much in these pages to encourage a closer look; if you are an existing student, we know you will be both challenged and rewarded by your time in the Bristol Faculty of Arts.”

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International

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