AOD unlocks opportunities for international design careers through long-standing industry and academic collaborations

Wherever in the world one may be, the main case for pursuing a higher education is the preparation it provides for securing a successful life in the working world. In a highly globalised society –and one that is fast becoming even more so-, higher education institutions have come to realise that forging international partnerships is crucial to ensuring a sustainable future for their students. However, the Academy of Design (AOD) -Sri Lanka’s pioneering design institution- has already long built itself a reputation for not just for providing a world-class design education, but also for leading the charge in unlocking for its students unparalleled opportunities across borders; for collaboration, knowledge sharing, and career success in an international capacity.

The world is also now looking towards South Asia for the wealth of culture, heritage, fresh perspectives, and talent it holds as unique and valuable contributions to the global design ecosystem. It goes without saying then, that when this potential is harnessed, honed, and provided with opportunities to get a global outlook first-hand, the possibilities are infinite for the graduates then deployed.

Additionally, over the years AOD has developed strong affiliations with prestigious and well-respected global education institutions, creating bilateral opportunities and collaborations that further motivate its students, increase cultural awareness, help them establish an international network, and also ease their transition towards a career in the global future.

All of AOD’s multidimensional BA programmes are affiliated with the globally-ranked Northumbria University, UK; becoming the first campus in Sri Lanka to award completely internal design degrees from a British university. This powerful long-standing partnership is one that transcends the superior curriculum content of the British design institution to opportunities to partake in the 2+1 transfer programmes this collaboration brings to the table. Students at AOD are given the option of either completing their entire 3-year program in Sri Lanka, or transferring to Northumbria for their final year.

In its bid to also further the academic and career trajectories of its postgraduate students, AOD has joined hands with the De Montfort University (DMU); the premier specialist institution for art and design in the UK. The DMUxAOD partnership has enabled AOD to offer internationally-accredited postgraduate programmes in design for the very first time for students based in Sri Lanka, allowing them to enhance their undergraduate learnings as well as increase their employability to be on par with their peers across the world.

Students from AOD also benefit greatly from the university’s robust relationship with the Osnabrück University in Germany. A relatively young – but well-established – academic institution, through this partnership, both universities have been able to collaborate on academic projects in the field of fashion and textile design. AOD’s academic exchange program with Osnabrück University is focused on fostering better understanding of design at the intersection of tradition and modernity.

More recently, AOD has partnered with Denmark’s leading design and technology institute, KEA (Copenhagen School of Design and Technology), to develop rich academic and cultural exchanges that enhance scientific research. A first for Sri Lanka and the region, through this collaboration AOD’s final year students are given a highly coveted study and travel opportunity to experience Copenhagen for an entire semester, and learn from all that the university, industry, and culture has to offer aspiring global designers.

University affiliations aside, various local and international industry partnerships have also placed AOD students on par with –and even ahead of – their global counterparts; be it through work-study placements with some of the country’s leading textile industry players, to showcases at prestigious international design showcases. From international study tours, to competitive global training placements, AOD – with its 99% employability rate- is widely acknowledged for the vital role it plays in developing the design quotient of the country.

Responsible for the establishment of powerful design platforms such as the Sri Lanka Design Festival, and industry-tied showcases like the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, AOD has also secured a place every year for its most promising students at the illustrious London Fashion Week and London Graduate Fashion Week –many of whom have since been launched into the global fashion limelight, their names now brushing shoulders with the world’s fashion elite.

It is through these extensive connections across a wide portfolio of local and international design industries, as well as with its growing talent pool of successful alumni, that AOD has always been able to facilitate for its students direct access to an international audience of some of the most prominent fashion and design industry professionals, and set many an AOD designer up for global recognition – also giving due credence to the wealth of innovation Sri Lanka has to offer the world.

From its address at the Colombo Innovation Tower (CIT) too, students at AOD get a taste of what it’s like to study in a world-class design campus; equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and pulsing with the collective energy of Sri Lanka’s most catalytic creative-business-tech community. Furthermore, students learn from and are mentored by a global faculty of experienced lecturers – including guest lecturers by world-renowned design personalities.

AOD invites all O/L and A/L graduates and aspiring creatives to learn more about the leading design university in Sri Lanka, its various globally-affiliated programmes including Design Foundation programme, BA (Hons) in Fashion Textile & Design, BA (Hons) in Fashion Design & Marketing, BA (Hons) in Interior Architecture Design, BA (Hons) in Graphics & Visual Communication Design and Motion Graphics & Animation Design.  Find out  how all prospective students can be assured of a truly-world class education that secures for them a successful international design career. For more information, contact AOD on 0775727772, email or walk in between 9am and 4pm Monday to Friday – Colombo Innovation Tower, No 477, R. A De Mel Mawatha, Colombo