January 1996 Issue 18
Student Summer Placements
The Conservation Course has been given rather more space than usual in this issue of the Journal and a few words of explanation are appropriate. Three of our now final-year students are presenting short reports on their placements in the USA and Canada during the 1995 summer vacation. The aim of such placements is partly to give students conservation experience of a kind they cannot get at the V&A. Just as important, they see that in different institutions and different cultures there are different attitudes towards conservation, different emphases and different ways of getting things done. By the end of the second year, students have a good general theoretical understanding of conservation allied to substantial specialist skills and knowledge. The fresh viewpoint at this stage of their education is extremely valuable in developing awareness and judgement.
We encourage the students to be ambitious when they begin to explore the opportunities for placements but financial considerations often make the ideal unaffordable. Last year we were particularly lucky to receive help from both The Conservation Unit of the Museums & Galleries Commission and the Friends of the V&A. Without this extra funding, the students could certainly not have gone so far, for so long or learned so much. We are extremely grateful for their support.