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|Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts|
LIPA's main entrance, on Mount Street
|Town or city||Liverpool, Merseyside|
|Completed||7 June 1996|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||David Watkins - Brock Carmichael Architects|
The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) is a performing arts higher education institution in the English city of Liverpool, founded by musician Paul McCartney and Mark Featherstone-Witty and opened in 1996. LIPA offers eleven full-time BA Honours degrees in a range of fields across the performing arts, as well as three Foundation Certificate programmes of study in acting, dance and popular music, and music technology. LIPA offers full-time, one-year masters-level degree courses in Acting (Company) and Costume Making. It is a member of the Federation of Drama Schools.
The Education Guardian has previously ranked LIPA No. 1 in the UK for several of its degree courses, and it is regularly ranked as one of the top 10 specialist institutions. LIPA has been awarded gold by the Government's Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), which rates higher education providers by teaching quality.
In September 2003, LIPA launched LIPA 4-19; a part-time performing arts academy for 4 to 19-year olds. Since then, a satellite school and associate academies have also been launched. LIPA started its own primary free school in 2014 and its own sixth form free college in September 2016.
LIPA was founded by Paul McCartney and Mark Featherstone-Witty. McCartney had known since 1985 that the building which had housed his old school -- the Liverpool Institute High School for Boys - was becoming increasingly derelict after the school's closure, and wished to find a productive use for it; Featherstone-Witty had set up the Brit School in London and was looking for an opportunity to open another school.
Featherstone-Witty had been inspired by Alan Parker's 1980 film Fame, to think about what the best possible training would have been for work in the arts and entertainment industry. The film led him to conclude that performing artists needed to train in all three performing arts (acting, dance and music) at the same time. He also took into account that performers form only a part of the arts and entertainment business. From these basic concepts, he created a blueprint for a new type of training and began consulting with others in the industry. By 1985 he had support from just under 50 artists, directors, choreographers and entrepreneurs.
Record producer George Martin knew that Featherstone-Witty was looking for somewhere to develop a school, and that McCartney was looking for someone who could save the building, and introduced them to each other. The process of setting up the facility and the school took seven years and cost £20m.
LIPA was opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 7 June 1996, and since then its range of courses has expanded each academic year. LIPA marked its 10th birthday in January 2006 with a performance at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall and a new book, LIPA - The First Ten Years in Pictures, written by Featherstone-Witty.
A recent[when?] survey of graduates who left in 2014 showed that 91% were in work, and 83% of those were working in the performing arts. The curriculum is regularly changed in an attempt to maintain this situation.
LIPA has been awarded the Gold Standard from Investors in People - the only HEI to have achieved this level in the UK. LIPA also has the highest concentration of Fellows and Associates recognised by the Higher Education Academy.
Building work started on the Art School in 2014, and was completed in August 2016. Under the Free School programme, LIPA opened a primary school nearby in 2014, and a Sixth Form College in September 2016, both of which became oversubscribed.
There were 5,225 applications to the institute through UCAS in 2010, of which 208 were accepted, giving the Institute an acceptance rate of 4%. Undergraduate tuition fees were £9,250 GBP in 2019, and International tuition fees were £16,200 GBP for 2019.
LIPA does not issue its own degrees, so rather than issuing Honorary degrees like other British universities, it awards "Companionships" to individuals in recognition of their contributions to the world of art and entertainment, particularly within the sectors LIPA is associated with. Prospective companions usually visit LIPA at least once before they are invited to become companions to give masterclasses to students, or to participate in "Conversation with" type question and answer sessions. Some then come back to the institute at later dates.
Companionships awarded by the institution are:
+ denotes a Companion who is also a LIPA Patron.
This article's list of alumni may not follow Wikipedia's verifiability policy. (May 2018)