As a former student of the school, I'm greatly intrigued by all the postings regarding the school and am compelled to speak up as well. I would like to offer my take on why such strong anti-school sentiments could possibly come about. I think it's safe to assume that the negative and vehement postings are by the weaker students, for I believe the stronger students would probably sing the praises of the school, or at least not hold such negative views.
The way I see it, it is simply a mismatch of expectations.
Local students pay $20,000 while foreign ones pay $40,000 for the one-year diploma in industrial design (don't ask me why it's not called entertainment design or concept design). It is not a small sum to pay. For the less wealthy, it will most certainly mean many years of paying back the bank loan afterwards. So they would expect the school to help them achieve a certain level of competency to be able to work as a concept designer. When they do not, resentment sets in.
I would like to give all students the benefit of doubt that they are all hardworking, because why would anyone want to pay such a huge sum of money to slack and be lazy and not learn? Besides, the school culture does an excellent job of pushing students to work hard. In my personal experience, I see practically all of the students putting in a tremendous amount of effort, even if their stuff turn out not as good. But of course, this is pure anecdotal and assumptions on my part. There's no way to prove it.
But can you imagine that after giving an arm and a leg to pay for the school fees, you get remarks like (as past postings have mentioned) "Don't think you are the client or customer."
What I can clearly see, however, are the high-handed way the school treats its weaker students. The school turns a deaf ear to their concerns. They said so as much during the feedback session after the end of terms 2 and 3. They said they will not address concerns raised by such students because they are always complaining about the school. I also find it appalling that when a student went to seek help from one of the art directors (they do not see themselves as tutors/lecturers/educators but trainers) during lessons hours, he was asked to book an appointment.
Another reason why weaker students feel disenfranchised is because of the blatant favoritism displayed. Stronger students get help without them even asking. Weaker ones are left to flounder on their own. Of cos the art directors will definitely offer advice when approached, but it demoralises the weaker students to see how they are "ignored" in that sense.
Then there is the "discriminating" sitting arrangement. Stronger students are deliberately placed together so they can get better. The weaker ones? In another group by themselves. The art director will usually walk in, attend to the "stronger" side for an extended period of time, then walk straight out.
In case anyone thinks I'm one of those naysayers, I would like to think I'm not. I'm just stating what I observed and experienced and am not blaming anyone.
I feel the school does a great job in helping good students get better, and they help all students develop a strong work ethic. Their teaching methods are sound, but require some tightening and consistency, but overall, it's an ok school.
However, I sincerely hope the school do not dismiss the negative views as mere rantings from disgruntled students (it's obvious those who posted them are current/ex-students of the school) but take the comments to heart and reflect upon them. What made these students feel so outraged that they spew such scathing views? Are they really just the unjustified rantings of weak individuals who fault the school for their own failings? Or could the way the school is run causing such ill feelings in these students?