The faculty of art and design and architecture (FADA) is to revert its name back to the “Kingston School of Art”, in a move that celebrates the schools’ 140th year at Knights Park and will help it compete globally against other universities.
The rebrand of the faculty will take effect from the next academic year. The conversion is being done to commemorate the 1875 inception of the art school this year, as well as marking 75 years since FADA has been based at the Knights Park campus.
A University spokesman said: “This year the Faculty is celebrating its 140th year and 75th at Knights Park. To mark this, it is reclaiming its heritage by going back to its original name, the Kingston School of Art.”
The spokesman added that the rebranding of the faculty would also “enable the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture (FADA) to reinforce its position as one of the most prestigious art and design schools in the United Kingdom”.
He said this would “help create a stronger identity that will allow the Faculty to capitalise on its many successes” citing the BA Fashion course at Knights Park, currently ranked third internationally by leading fashion website Business of Fashion, as an example.
Alongside the name change, the department will be initiating a review into all disciplines and courses at Knights Park that will look to restructure administrative roles at the faculty. No timeline was given, but this will help to “create a consistent structure across the University”, the spokesman said.
A senior course rep within FADA, who wished to remain anonymous, said that even though she “would not… be lucky [to] graduate under the new name” and reap the benefits of the planned change, this was a positive step for the school.
She said: “I think it is a brave and progressive move and although I will miss out, I am happy for the future generations of Kingston students that will be attracted to studying at this fine department and thus [able to] graduate under its name.”
Robert Knifton, post-doctoral researcher at Knights Park, who recently produced a book outlining the historical significance of the art school, said the change in name would “acknowledge the historic lineage and the specific work that goes on at Knights Park – both now and in the past”.
He said: “Kingston has one of the best art schools in the country: we are world-leading in many subjects.
“Both the history and the present position of the art school is worth celebrating, and something Kingston University is rightly proud of.”
The art school is notable for being the site where the rock band The Yardbirds first formed in the 1960s, which contained rocks stars Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page.
The school has also been responsible for producing students who later went on to work on films such as ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ and projects for Hollywood studio Dreamworks.
Kingston University is currently ranked as 13th for Art and Design by the Complete University Guide and currently nine per cent of all KU students are on courses within the department, according to UCAS.