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Photo showing an animator working with figures of sheep in an animation studio.

The new global scheme supports students and academic staff with online and in person animation training.

Aardman, the multi-award-winning animation studio, has today announced a new global Partnership Programme for universities, run by its training facility the Aardman Academy.

The first partners on board include Edinburgh College of Art (ECA), The Northern School of Art and New York’s School of Visual Arts, with Aardman Academy courses made available to students this academic year.

Exclusive to five UK and ten overseas partners, the programme supports students and academic staff by delivering animation training online and in person, providing portfolio feedback and a suite of masterclasses and events. UK based students will be invited to visit Aardman to see the working studio in action.

Through the Partnership Programme, the Aardman Academy intends to build deeper relationships with universities and colleges, leading to meaningful two-way conversation with the animation industry.

Professor Juan Cruz, Principal at ECA, said: ‘This is an incredibly exciting opportunity for Edinburgh College of Art to join with the Aardman Academy on the Partnership Programme. Our students from across a range of programmes will benefit, not only from access to the masterclasses, feedback and training but also to connect globally with other students and professionals in the animation industry.

Edinburgh College of Art is proud to be a collaborative and community focused school, and we believe strongly in creating and strengthening our ties with the creative industries. The Aardman Academy, as an award winning animation studio is a fantastic example of the collaborations and partnerships our students will benefit from as they learn and develop as creatives.

Mark Simon Hewis, Head of the Aardman Academy, said: “We’ve been working incredibly hard to find a solution where we can support both students and universities alike while striving to get as close to an open-door policy as possible without diluting an industry-leading level of teaching and training. Our new partnership scheme allows us to plug directly into degree courses, and collaborate with academics and heads of schools from across the world to offer an insight into the industry that so many current students are looking for from their chosen courses.  I'm so pleased we're now able to start connecting with universities and academics and welcoming them into the wonderful community we've created at the Aardman Academy."

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