The enterprise of liberation

The Creative Challenge has kicked off with a bang this year, with a packed schedule of workshops in the UK and a residential in France for many students. There is a truly international flavour with students from ESADHaR as well as our own UCA students getting involved.

Both UCA and ESADHaR students submitted proposals this year; submissions were scored by external assessors and all successful students were offered an all-expenses paid place on the Residential Workshop held in Le Havre, France from Monday 24th to Friday 28th November. The trip to Le Havre was a great success, with forty-nine students from UCA and ESADHaR attending.

“Liberation” was the theme of the residential; student were grouped to focus on different aspects of liberation with the support of a facilitator and, for many groups, a previous Creative Challenge student. Each group was challenged to tackle their theme and to create a work to exhibit.


ICR was selected under the European Cross-border Cooperation Programme INTERREG IVA France (Channel) – England, co-funded by the ERDF

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Creative Challenge Residential Nov 2014 gallery

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In early September, two technicians from Comédie de Picardie visited UCA workshops at Rochester to collect a backdrop that UCA students had painted at the Royal Opera House High House Production Park in Thurrock for the Comédie de Picardie’s  new creative drama performance, based on collection of poems selected by French writer Jacques Beal from his 1992 Les Poètes de la Grande Guerre. The activity is part of the ACT programme. More information here or contact Amie at

Is print dying?

Marking a celebration of print, students on the Graphic Design: Visual Communication course will explore the changing nature of the printed medium and create a publication to accompany a performance of Felix Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang, performed by the Orchestra de Rouen, France this November.

The publication will ask the audience to consider whether we are losing print in the face of increased online readership and what might we value about printed word in the future.  With the increase of digital archiving, will it only be memories that exist of the once inherently physical medium of the printed word?

A group of students will be offered the opportunity to attend the performance in November and distribute the publication to the audience. This opportunity is supported by the ACT programme.

For more information please contact Amie at

Students get involved in opera

Britten’s one-act opera Noye’s Fludde will be a large collaborative performance taking place in Amiens in January 2015 and then visiting Cambridge in March 2015 as part of the ACT project – this will be the final performance as part of the ACT project, and our biggest one to date!  Three courses will be involved in the delivery of the project: Creative Arts for Theatre and Film, Rochester, where students will design costumes and accessories for the main characters; Computer Arts and Animation, Rochester, who will develop a visual concept for the stage and Graphic Design: Visual Communication, Canterbury, where students will come up with designs for marketing.  Although work is still in the early stages of development, we’re looking forward to seeing how it will all unravel on stage next year.

For more information please contact Amie at

Creative Challenge kicks off!

Creative Challenge in action

It’s all kicked off at the Creative Challenge, a free and inspiring programme where students have the opportunity to meet industry experts, showcase their ideas and, for some students, there is an opportunity for an all-expenses-paid residential trip to France to further explore their ideas.

After receiving advice from Enterprise staff and Creative Challenge mentors, over 600 students signed up for the Challenge programme 2014/15. 150 UCA students have taken part in four workshops at Epsom, Canterbury, Farnham and Rochester to work on their ideas that combine their view about society and the environment with their creative and entrepreneurial skills. 45 best concepts have now been selected to attend the Residential Workshop in Le Havre in November.

Jennifer Xu, studying on the International Foundation Diploma of Art and Design, attended the Farnham workshop. Jennifer says,

I signed up for the Creative Challenge as I thought it would be good to experiment with new things, as I have not attend a workshop like this before. And it indeed was a good experience for me. The workshop gave me inspiration as the tutors talked about the possibility of combining two random things and how to research m ideas. For me, the most valuable advice I received is that to actually think about the resources around and how I could develop my idea using these resources; I’ve never really considered how the resources I have can be used. And it gave me lots of inspiration to work on my sketchbook for my IFAD course.

UCA will now run workshops for the ESADHaR students at their campuses in Le Havre and Rouen, and selected individuals will be invited to join the programme and work on their projects alongside UCA students.

To see films and images from our events and workshop, please follow the Creative Challenge Facebook page:

More information: Marta at or check out

Creative Challenge students 2014: Q & A

Creative Challengers at a workshop in France

Earlier in the programme, the Creative Challenge participants were asked about their experiences so far: this is what they said:

What made you take part in the Creative Challenge programme?

Jonathan Ramalho: The Creative Challenge first stood out to me with the ‘Being Entrepreneurial’ workshops: it gave me a platform that would nurture my development in not just my creativity but also a way on how to establish myself independently and that was extremely attractive. Personally what made me participate was the opportunity to learn how to connect my skills to a concept with great meaning.

Maria Torres: I had an idea that I would like to put in practice but I wasn’t sure how and whether it was good or not. In a Christmas Fair at Rochester Campus I talked with a student who was part of the Creative Challenge before and she told me to apply and that I would get really good advice and help to make my idea stronger and perhaps become real – and I’ve not been disappointed!

Jessica van Twuiver: I am in my final year and I wanted to take part in a competition to get myself out there. As I am not sure yet what I want to do when I graduate I thought this opportunity might give me some more ideas as well. I also wanted to gain more confidence about myself and my work. Becoming a finalist has definitely helped!

How has the programme helped you?

Imogen Coleman: It has boosted my confidence sky high! I feel I have improved in so many levels.

Ikesha Patrick: It has enhanced my ability to have confidence in bringing an idea to reality – making something out of nothing.

Olivia: I met some really wonderful people on the Creative Challenge. I was also pushed out of my comfort zone which is always a positive thing. Overall it let me clarify my idea and give it the time and focus it needed to develop.

Ben: I love interaction with people and Creative Challenge was basically a big interaction. I also learned the power of communication. We spent a whole lot of time with the French students and were having in depth conversations with them only after realising we share only a few basic words of vocabulary.

Imogen: Number one would have to be the people I have met. Never has it been so refreshing to be in an environment with like-minded people communicating and really getting to know each other personally. The chance to showcase my work and feel really a part of something was exceptional.

What things have you learned so far?

Maria: How to network effectively, through real collaboration, honesty and trust; how to make a proposal practical, credible and all the associated things: audience, budget/funding, promotion, teams and timings, etc.; how to communicate and summarise my ideas so I can get the most important points across.

Ikesha: Perseverance; getting people on board with your idea is always good as it helps the idea to grow in dimensions that I may have not considered; the importance of strong presentation skills.

Patricia Mato-Mora: Targeting a group of individual to direct my idea towards; considering financial issues within my proposal; presentation skills; refining my thoughts to communicate my ideas more clearly.

Ben: It’s good to seek out other perspectives on things and evaluate other solutions; the greatest commodity is people, and experiencing the world in a childlike way from time to time is a very therapeutic thing to do.

What did you learn from the residential in Le Havre?

Olivia: I learned about collaboration, and how to work with people different to myself in a productive way. I also learned about Le Havre, both the university and the town. I also learned about different ways of looking at a problem, particularly through an ecological viewpoint.

Jessica: We are more similar to each other than we sometimes think we are. Talking to people and talking about my ideas.

Ben: Perhaps most importantly I learned that it is important to look for people who are completely not like yourself and gain perspectives from them as they can usually uncover an angle which would otherwise be impossible for you to see.

Maria: Everyone was really generous and every time I think of the days in Le Havre I always smile and I think of everyone with care…and I think most of people feel the same! I believe that we were willing to collaborate with each other because the network that we made was so strong that we really believe in each other and we want everyone to be successful and make the proposals come true. I became more open to hear other people and it helped me a lot in understanding all the connection points and decisions in my jewellery work.

What would you say to other students considering entering Creative Challenge 14/15?

Maria: Just do it! It’s really worth it and you might get surprised with what you can do! Don’t doubt yourself.

Imogen: It’s a real chance to prove what you’ve got offer and get your ideas set into action. Do not hesitate to fill out that submission form – you are a creative, you have something to offer. This is the perfect opportunity to get your thoughts and ideas out there and get the chance to make them a reality! Not only are you surrounded with like minded people, but people who can help you and your idea grow. Enter it, Enjoy it, Experience it.

Ikesha: Firstly it does not have to interrupt your studies if you are well organised. There is a lot of experience and knowledge to learn in the way of enterprising and communication. This is particularly useful for those who want to set up businesses or create their opportunities in a similar way. It has opened up further opportunities in the way of my project actually being realised. You can only gain and not lose in this experience: It incredibly valuable and does not cost anything to participate.

Patricia: It will help you take yourself and your proposal seriously, and develop your ideas in a competitive, feasible way that could effectively be applied in the real world, beyond academia.