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Ravensbourne college building in North Greenwich
|Location||North Greenwich, London, UK|
Ravensbourne (formerly the Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication) is a university sector college in the field of digital media and design, with a vocationally focused portfolio of courses, spanning fashion, television and broadcasting, interactive product design, architecture and environment design, graphic design, animation, moving image, music production for media and sound design.
Ravensbourne, which was formerly Bromley Technical College, was opened in 1959 by the amalgamation of the Bromley School of Art and the Department of Furniture Design of the Beckenham School of Art. It was originally located at Bromley Common and Chislehurst in outer London before moving to a new purpose-built campus in inner London on the Greenwich Peninsula in September 2010.
The Bromley School of Art opened in 1878 in Tweedy Road, Bromley. It became Bromley College of Art after the second world war. In 1959 it merged with the Department of Furniture Design of the Beckenham School of Art and in 1965 moved to purpose-built accommodation on Rookery Lane, Bromley Common. The site had originally housed the Rookery, an 18th-century house that had been burnt out while in military occupation in 1946. As the college expanded it was unable to develop the Rookery Lane site any further, as it was part of the Metropolitan Green Belt. Limitations to space had already resulted in Foundation courses being housed in temporary buildings in the grounds around the main building. This resulted in the college moving in 1975, to a new site set amongst 18 acres (73,000 m2) of private parkland on Walden Road, Chislehurst. The Rookery Lane site was redeveloped for the Bromley College of Further & Higher Education.
It has offered higher level courses in design since the 1960s. In 1985 the Broadcasting department joined, replacing Fine Arts. It was amongst the earliest of institutions to be approved by the then CNAA to convert the traditional Diploma programmes in Art and Design into honours degrees during the 1970s. Following the demise of the CNAA in 1992, Ravensbourne entered into a validating partnership with the Royal College of Art, which agreed exceptionally to take this responsibility because of the institution's strong reputation and longstanding links with the RCA. This validation ceased when the Royal College of Art withdrew from offering collaborative provision. In April 2010, following a re-branding programme and in anticipation of the college's relocation, it shortened its name from Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication to simply 'Ravensbourne'.
Ravensbourne was recognised previously as an affiliate College of the University of Sussex in 1996 and was re-recognised in 2002. Between 2009 and 2012 the institution's undergraduate and postgraduate provision was validated by City University, London. This relationship was maintained until May 2012, when both parties agreed to withdraw from the validating partnership in order to pursue their respective academic strategies. In June 2013, the new validation partner, University of the Arts London was confirmed.
2010 campus relocation
It was decided that the institution would either have to merge with another institution, or relocate from its location in Chislehurst, Southeast London. The latter option was chosen and a new campus was constructed at Greenwich Peninsula, which opened in September 2010.
The new campus is next to The O2, an entertainment district at Greenwich Peninsula, which has the intention of bringing the institution closer to partner institutions and the industries to which it relates. The new building is designed to replicate the working environment of industry, with a high emphasis on student and industry collaboration.
Curriculum and reputation
At undergraduate level, there are Foundation degrees, honours degree level top-up years (for those having completed foundation degrees or equivalent), and Bachelor's degrees. A number of these bachelor's degrees also offer a "Level 0" programme. The available postgraduate provision consists of 14 Master's level courses, each of which can be studied to MA, MDes or MSc (dependent on subject). A range of subject areas are offered within the main disciplines of fashion, design and broadcasting.
Ravensbourne students have achieved success in national competitions such as the Royal Society of Arts Design Awards (RSA), British Design in Art Direction Awards (D&AD), New Designers Awards, Graduate Fashion Week Awards and Promax Awards.
Within the area of Further Education, Ravensbourne offers the Diploma in Foundation Studies for both Art & Design and Media, as well as the BTEC National Certificate in Art and Design.
Ravensbourne enjoys strong relationships with the creative industries to which it relates. The College’s students are over-represented in its success rate for national prizes, competitions and awards and its graduates are highly employable. Many undergraduate students also progress to postgraduate courses at highly reputable institutions such as Central St. Martins and the Royal College of Art.
National Centre of Excellence
Ravensbourne has a £16m industry-standard high-definition digital broadcast facility, and is one of seventeen national Skillset Media Academies.
- Brian Barnes, artist
- David Bowie, musician 
- Dinos Chapman, artist
- Maria Cornejo, fashion designer
- Rose Finn-Kelcey, artist
- Nazaneen Ghaffar, weather presenter, Sky News
- Robert Hewison, literary scholar
- Simon Hilton, film director & editor
- Peter James, writer and film producer
- Anthony McCall, artist
- Stella McCartney, fashion designer
- Bruce Oldfield, fashion designer
- Chris Orr, artist
- Jay Osgerby (BarberOsgerby), product and furniture designer
- Tim Pope, film director
- Alison Wilding, sculptor
- James Cooper, film editor
- Andrew Kötting, Artist film maker
- Andi Osho, Comedienne
- Richard Howarth, Vice President, Industrial Design, Apple Inc.
- River Ravensbourne – a tributary of the River Thames that flows through Bromley
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