Central Shortlisted for a Times Higher Education Award

MA Applied Theatre - Student on placement in India developing teachers' drama skills.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Central is pleased to announce that it has been shortlisted for a Times Higher Education Award for Excellence and Innovation in the Arts.

The THE Awards are widely recognised as the Oscars of the higher education sector. Each year, they attract hundreds of entries that exemplify the talent, dedication and innovation of individuals and teams across all aspects of university life and showing countless reasons why our institutions continue to prosper.

The Excellence and Innovation in the Arts Award aims to recognise the pioneering work that is taking place in universities to promote the arts.  Entries were open to teams and all higher education institutions in the UK.   

Central’s entry was in recognition of the work undertaken by Dr Selina Busby, Principal Lecturer and Course Leader for MA Applied Theatre. Dr Busby and her students have been working annually for the past 7 years with an NGO in Mumbai and alongside a collection of local, Indian artists and practitioners on a project in Dharavi to improve English language skills and facilitate intercultural dialogue and creativity through Applied Theatre.

Dr Busby works alongside a Dharavi based NGO who aim to work at a community level to empower women and slum communities to be their own catalysts for change, as well as Indian Theatre artist Divya Bhatia. For the young participants in Dr Busby’s project, the change they seek is the ability to imagine a different future for themselves including improved job prospects. Many of the young people are homeless and have no responsible adults in their lives. They see little prospect of change, and many dream of escape through being discovered as a Bollywood Star.  Dr Busby’s work capitalises on these fantasies, allowing for workshops that encourage learning and which are facilitated through the mediums of theatre, dance, performance and play.

In May, Dr Busby discussed the project in an interviewed for the Times Higher Education podcast and magazine.

Winners will be revealed at a gala awards evening in Central London on Thursday 24 November, 2016.