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Surge in Chinese interest in UK fashion/design

Universities in the UK have seen a significant rise in the numbers of Chinese students arriving to study fashion and design subject programmes, and London’s promotional organisation, London & Partners, is pointing out that many Chinese alumni are staying on to work for some of the world’s best known fashion houses or setting up their own brand labels.

Seven Chinese designers are involved with the International Fashion Showcase in London, part of London Fashion Week's agenda

"The number of Chinese studying arts & design has risen a staggering 158% over the last five years"

Analysis of the latest data released by HESA shows that over the last five years reveals that UK universities have experienced a surge of 150% in Chinese students coming to study creative arts and design.

However, in London, creative arts have now overtaken more traditional subjects like engineering, technology and mathematics to become the second most popular course studied by Chinese scholars (after business studies).

Now, many of these students are reported to be setting up businesses, creating their own labels and going on to work for some of Britain’s and the world’s top labels including Vivienne Westwood, John Galliano, Alexander McQueen and Dior.

As London celebrates its own Fashion Week this month, the British Council’s International Fashion Showcase 2014 will be a parallel event showcasing international talent. Seven Chinese designers that feature studied at University of the Arts London (UAL).

Chinese students who have gone to establish themselves include Grace Lam, Style Editor at Vogue China

Kevin McCarthy, Head of Education and Culture at London & Partners, said, ‘The number of Chinese studying arts & design has risen a staggering 158% over the last five years, with the UAL, which encompasses six top art schools, experiencing extremely large rises.”

“London can capitalise on this because we have such a large creative economy and lead the world in design, fashion, music and film.”

The University of the Arts London, which includes the Central St Martins School of Arts and Design and London School of Fashion, has witnessed over 100 per cent increase in the number of Chinese students enrolling over the last five years.

Chinese students who have gone to establish themselves include Grace Lam, Style Editor at Vogue China, artist O Zhang and fashion designers Joanna Ho and Chris Liu.

London & Partners recently launched studylondon.cn a website in Mandarin to help inform prospective Chinese students about the city.

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