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ART.ZIP: Do you think art education in the UK is more likely to help students prepare for the future?

NC: I have to say that Christie’s Education is not representative of the UK as a whole. The government currently encourages schools to ensure career possibilities for the students. Earlier this year the Quality Assurance Agency, which accredits institutions of higher education in England, noted as ‘good practice’ our support towards students’ future employment. We actually make it a part of our business to look after our students’ happiness. Because Christie’s Education is so small, we become a kind of family, and we keep track of students after graduation. We give them advice, write references, and we give them introductions even after they’ve left the building. Part of my job is to help students develop guanxi (connections) for their career prospects.

ART.ZIP: In this course there are two divisions, one is PgDip, the other is Masters. Would you explain more about the PgDip programme? How different is it from Masters?

NC: The Postgraduate Diploma course covers the same material as the Master’s, but without a thesis. Students can convert to the Master’s if they do really well in the first term. There are four tiers in the British system: Postgraduate Diploma, Master’s, MPhil and PhD. A Postgraduate Diploma is actually a perfectly respectable postgraduate degree recognised, particularly in the Commonwealth. Outside the Commonwealth, such as China and the US, the PgDip remains a bit of a mystery. As such, at interview we always alert applicants who wish to work in Mainland China or Taiwan or the US. Some of our Mainland Chinese students have expressed concerns about the PgDip, and tend to work towards the Master’s degree. With the PgDip degree, our alumni have found meaningful work in, for instance, Poly International Auction.

ART.ZIP: What is the relationship between Christie’s Education and Christie’s the auction house?

NC: Christie’s Education operates as an independent company owned by Christie’s as part of its core business. In practice we have the ability to step outside the auction world, as it were. We are Christie’s and we are not Christie’s. We can step back and from an outside perspective. But because we are part of Christie’s, we can also engage our students with everything Christie’s has to offer. For the auction house, Christie’s Education provides a talent pipeline and an institution for learning that embodies the expertise and passion for art for which Christie’s is renowned.

ART.ZIP: 你覺得英國教育是為學生就業準備的嗎?

NC: 我覺得佳士得美術學院並不能籠統地作為英國教育的代表。近年來政府鼓勵學校為學生的就業提供幫助和保障。今年年初,監管英格蘭高等教育院校的QAA(The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education──高等教育評估與質量保障機構)在為學生未來職業發展方面給予了我們很高的評價。讓學生滿意是我們的責任之一。因為佳士得美術學院很小,我們就像一個大家庭,所有學生畢業後的去向我們都會很上心。我們不但給他們就業建議,還給他們寫推薦信,就算畢業後我們也會給他們介紹相關專業人士。我認為為學生未來發展而拓展關係網絡是我的義務和責任。

ART.ZIP: 這個課程有兩個分支,一個是PgDip(Postgraduate Diploma)課程,一個是碩士學位課程。你能給我們說說PgDip課程嗎?它和碩士學位有什麼不一樣?

NC: PgDip就是進修文憑課程,內容與碩士課程沒有分別,只是不需要提交畢業論文而已。如果修讀進修文憑課程的學生在第一學期表現不錯,他們就可以申請轉到碩士課程。英國高等教育有四個級別,進修文憑(PgDip),碩士學位(Master’s),哲學碩士(MPhil)和博士(PhD)。進修文憑其實是一個相當受尊重和認可的學位,特別是在英聯邦國家。可是在聯邦外,例如中國和美國,人們對進修文憑的認識很有限。因此,我們在面試的時候都會特別提醒日後希望在中國大陸,台灣或者美國工作的申請人。好些中國大陸的學生都會對進修文憑表示疑慮,因此都傾向于讀碩士課程。但其實獲得進修文憑的校友都能找到不錯的工作,例如在保利國際拍賣行工作的。

ART.ZIP: 佳士得美術學院和佳士得拍賣行的關係是什麼呢?

NC: 佳士得美術學院由佳士得全資擁有,是佳士得旗下獨立運營的公司。我們能夠跳出拍賣圈來進行藝術實踐。我們是佳士得的,也可以說不是佳士得的。我們可以退一步來客觀地審視佳士得。但是其實我們又隸屬於佳士得,所以我們可以給學生提供任何佳士得現有的資源。佳士得美術學院為佳士得拍賣提供了各類專業人才和學習進修的地方,所以兩者的關係很好地體現了佳士得對藝術的專業和熱忱。

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