Alumni testimonials from Hong Kong

Ian, MA Arts Administration and Cultural Policy


Video: Click to play

Ian is a producer, theatre director and arts administrator. He is now working in the Hong Kong Arts Festival as the Outreach Manager, in which he has been given the opportunity in producing a series of award winning theatre productions in Hong Kong including: Murder in San José, The Truth About Lying and The Liaisons. He also took the companies to Shanghai (as part of Shanghai World Expo 2010) and Esplanade, Singapore. He also runs his own theatre company.

Ian studied a BSc in Hong Kong, worked as a Quantity Surveyor Graduate and on the construction of Hong Kong Disneyland, remaining an active theatre practitioner and volunteer in social services. He co-founded Thealosophers (Theatre+philosophers) and was nominated Best Director in 2009 Hong Kong Drama Festival. He also served in the Leo Club of Repulse Bay where he seeks to apply Arts in community services.

In 2008, he was awarded MA in Arts Administration and Cultural Policy by Goldsmiths. During his studies, he did an internship with Shared Experience, where he has participated in the national tour of War & Peace. Ian’s dissertation focused on the impact of West Kowloon Cultural District project in Hong Kong and the way forward for sustainable Arts development in the City.  The MA course introduced Ian to the professional world of arts administration but also inspired him the way forward by Cultural Policy. Ian aspires to be an Artistic Director of an Arts Complex; at the same time, constantly challenges himself in producing contemporary theatre with his company Thealosophers, bringing cross-disciplinary media together in interpreting the world we live today.

Daisy, PhD Cultural Studies

Daisy studied her PhD at the Centre for Cultural Studies. She now works as a Research Assistant Professor at the Hong Kong Baptist University. She discusses how life at Goldsmiths, including the academic work, work experience and social aspects, all prepared her for her current career.


Video: Click to play

Jonathan, MA International Studies

Jonathan is now a presenter and producer at Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK), and studied MA International Studies. He explains the benefits of studying in London and how the creative environment at Goldsmiths prepared him for his career.


Video: Click to play


"The time at Goldsmiths has been extremely valuable. Through meeting different artist teachers and studying different contemporary pedagogical forms of art practice, I have broadened my horizon. It is an experience that changes your studio practice as an artist, your pedagogical practice as an educator, and also your ways of seeing as a contemporary being"

Since February 2013, I've been involved in different forms of activities and discussions to reactivate and recollect the knowledge, memory and expression of Chineseness in UK, through remnants of activities such as photos, written papers, drawings, train tickets and news articles. Many of these were politically sensitive materials so could not be shown to the public, however, we wanted to make a piece of art to remember all we have done in search of our own Chineseness, since we are aware of the incompleteness  of the official history.  In the end we decided to burn the physical forms of remnants to ashes  and bring the unrecognized forbidden materials back to Beijing.  Some of the ashes have been blown away in front of the Tiananmen Square, while some have been made into a sculpture. The message we hoped to show was that state powers can rewrite the history in the book, but they can never erase the memory in our heads.


MA Arts Administration and Cultural Policy

Colin studied the MA in Arts Administration and Cultural Policy in 2004 and during the programme Colin spent his internship in the International Intelligence on Culture, mainly assisted the research on Hong Kong Arts & Cultural Indicators.  He also joined the Creative Clusters conference which was held in Brighton.  As a student representative he kept abreast of the latest development of the global creative sectors; and in which he was able to meet his future bosses.

After the MA programme Colin returned Hong Kong and worked as a researcher for Centre for Cultural Policy Research, University of Hong Kong.  He became involved in cultural researches for Hong Kong and Beijing, and tried pursue a PhD with his immense interest on cultural and creative districts.  However, desperate for a stable income to maintain his family, Colin eventually joined the Government service as a police inspector. 

As a police inspector Colin managed his subordinates with an open mind inherited from the MA programme.  His international exposure during the programme paved the way for effective communications between the police and the general public.  The programme not only brought creative thoughts to Colin, but also the working attitude inspired by the professors, guest lecturers and students of Goldsmiths.


MPhil/PhD Cultural Studies

"The best thing about the programme is the people. Everyone's project is interesting and inspiring, and people reach out to each other!"

PhD Project title: A Taste of Ethics: Shifting from Lifestyle to a Way of Life
Undergraduate degree: BA Comparative Literature at University of Hong Kong
Postgraduate degree: MA Comparative Literature at University College London
Current Job: Research Assistant Professor at Hong Kong Baptist University

I wanted to do my PhD in a human-sized department where people are committed to research, where both staff and students are involved, and not in a place where I would become anonymous. I changed disciplines from Comparative Literature to Cultural Studies as I wanted my research to be move beyond the text and to be more relevant to my environment.

Centre for Cultural Studies is a a great centre where not only the staff are committed, but also the students. The best thing about CCS is the people. Everyone's project is interesting and inspiring, and people reach out to each other. I learned so much from my fellow students. No one seems to count the hours they put into organizing and attending activities - reading groups, workshops, conferences, talks, etc. Their interest drives their work, and that's not something you find everywhere. In addition to the academic life of the centre, one of the great things I loved about the PhD was the fieldwork. I sold apples at Borough Market for five years, and that was one of the highlights. I loved doing it and I wouldn't have done it without the encouragement of my supervisor. Because I did, the whole thesis changed, and the whole way I saw London changed. 

New Cultural Studies people - be brave, be open, be a pioneer in what you do, don't be afraid and don't stick to your comfort zone. Enjoy! I loved my time in the centre and hope that you will also find your own story to tell in the future...

Interviewed by Leila Whitley


From the age of about 16, I'd always wanted to get into the advertising industry. My cousin was/is an independent filmmaker in California. My mother works for Disneyland Hong Kong. My godmother is the Editor-in-Chief of Women's Health in the Philippines, while many more relatives have worked at places like The Discovery Channel and HBO. You could say it was inevitable that I chose to work in the media industry. But for me, it wasn't about the glitz and the glam of the media that got me interested. For me, it was always about the story - having a really good story that is worth telling, and then the access and the influence to make it happen.

When choosing what university to go to, I had two choices and been accepted into both: USC's Annenberg School for Communication, or Goldsmiths College, University of London. One in the land of sunshine and the other in cold, grey and wet London. So why Goldsmiths?

Honestly? It wasn't a case of which school was better than the other. Both are highly regarded and well-respected training grounds worldwide. But ultimately what swung my vote was the fact that Goldsmiths was 1 year shorter and much more affordable. The British university system seemed more focused and specialised, and to me that meant I could hopefully streamline my career path that much better. Plus, the fact that it was located in London gave me greater access to this cosmopolitan city and the rest of Europe, which I wanted to explore.

Like a true arts college, Goldsmiths has its own unique attitude and culture. It's apparent in the mix of people, the eclectic clothes, the black and white checkerboard floors of the Richard Hoggart Building; the contrast of old, historical buildings versus the library and new media and arts centre's; the atmosphere of independent thought, creativity and progression set against (or arguably supported by) the backdrop of New Cross, South-East London.

Goldsmiths is an ecosystem and stage to learn and build your craft, whatever that might be. It delivers in real terms, what real culture is about.

I'd say the greatest thing I got from my time there is a better ability to watch, observe and critique the world around me. And to not take things at face value. If media and communications is a lens to view the world, used to reflect back to you what we think is the world, then what Goldsmiths does is hands you the world and then asks you to hold it close to your eye; then hold it far away; turn it inside out; and outside in; mould it; stretch it; scratch it; transform it; look at it from all sides, all angles, top, bottom and side to side. And then asks at the end of it, with a calm expectancy: "Now, what are you going to do about it?"

Since my time at Goldsmiths, I've worked at a Digital agency developing a career that's taken me to the Caribbean islands, Hong Kong and Australia for work. I've trained and become a qualified yoga instructor on the side. And I'm most recently known as the CEO & Founder of a new start-up called Friends of Friends Travel, an online marketplace and social network that encourage collaborative consumption and being a part of the 'shared economy'. We allow friends and friends of friends to exchange travel services for free, and we're all about Trust, Philanthropy and Wanderlust.

Content last modified: 08 Nov 2013

Goldsmiths, University of London, New Cross, London, SE14 6NW, UK
Telephone: + 44 (0)20 7919 7171

Goldsmiths has charitable status

© 2000- Goldsmiths, University of London. Copyright, Disclaimer and Company information | Statement on the use of cookies by Goldsmiths