Dear Everyone,

At very long last there is positive news. I apologize for the length of this email, please take a few minutes to read this in detail and also see my request for your response at the bottom of the page!

I heard yesterday from Professor Gavin Henderson, the Principal at Royal Central. Subject to final executive approval, Central intends to offer a one year conversion course to allow diplomate graduates to convert their qualifications to a degree. I include his paragraphs on course content and proposed costs:

“The course will comprise two units: a ‘Career Portfolio’ for which students will produce a portfolio of their career and a 4,000 word critical reflection; and a ‘Thematic Enquiry’ which will involve the development of a thesis-driven essay of some 6,000 words on a thematic question relevant to the industry. Although we anticipate further development of the course before and after validation, I hope that this gives you an idea of its indicative structure and content.

We believe that, in addition to meeting the statutory quality assurance requirements of the School’s funding body and the University of London, the outline course possesses the appropriate academic integrity and career enhancement opportunities for students.

Having costed the course thoroughly, we believe that a tuition fee of £5,000 for the course (£6,500 for those from overseas) offers exceptional value. We would be offering a full degree of the University of London, with all the international respect which this commands. The award would be a powerful qualification in support of those seeking teaching posts in the USA for instance. To put this into context, it costs £27,000 in fees for a three-year course leading to BA for a ‘Home’ student. This would rise to circa £48,000 for an overseas student starting from scratch for three years.”

Further details will be available by late May in 2017.

1. First of all, very many thanks for your support in this campaign. It is no exaggeration to say that every signature to the petition was meaningful and it certainly would not have happened without you.

2. There are a few questions which arise:

a) Will this course be offered to students from other drama schools?
b) Is the proposed launch September 2017.
c) … what else … if specific questions occur to you, perhaps you would forward them to me, so that I can send a list of questions all at one time on to Central. Also, there may be details that I will be able to fill in. I have not forwarded every detail in the correspondence for the sake of brevity, but there may be issues already discussed.

3. Please let me know if you would take up this opportunity. This is important.

We are 150 petitioners. But I am aware that we are all three years older than when this campaign began. Also, quite a few of us already have degrees, or don’t need them, and signed in moral support.

However, to successfully implement the course Central will need to be able to make it cost efficient and the more of us that can say we would take the course, the easier it will be to get final approval.

4. On the question of cost. £5,000 is not an insignificant sum. However, and I have said this to Professor Henderson, I do believe he is correct in saying it represents value when understood against today’s costs.

5. So to summarize: please reply to me with any questions, and also let me know if you would take the course.

Many thanks!


PS. I am also available via skype: Colin.mcphillamy or phone (USA) 213 840 1187 if you wish to talk to me directly.