Thursday, 9 December 2010

Tuesday, 7 December 2010


On Wednesday 8th December 2010 at 5pm, all students, staff and employees are invited to make their way to the galleries of the Darwin building, where henceforth an occupation of the gallery space will commence indefinitely.

The decision to occupy the gallery space has been made for a number of reasons:-

The gallery space is a space for students to express themselves, exhibit their work, a forum of ideas and the heart of the college.  
The Galleries are not to be used primarily as a commercial funding vehicle for the college.
The occupation of the gallery space signifies the public presence of our protest. The gallery costs in excess of £4500 per day to hire – occupying this space signifies the seriousness with which we hold our contribution both financially and intellectually to the College.
We students, staff and employees ARE the Royal College of Art.  The college could not exist without our contributions.
We oppose any rise in fees for students attending the college.
We believe all maintenance grants, material budgets and bursaries should be restored and increased year on year.
We ultimately believe that education is a right to those talented enough to participate, and not a privilege to those simply able to afford it.

Please feel free to bring along games, home comforts, food, beverages, work, books, materials, entertainment, friends and any other items you wish.  There will be some modest attempts to make the space habitable. 
The primary intention is for this to be a peaceful, enjoyable and well-attended event in which people are able to show their concerns and presence united against the proposed Coalition government cuts for education.
As of the morning of Wednesday 8th December 2010, there are approximately 37 student occupations of university premises in the UK.
Towards a better future for all, we look forward to your support.


We, the students of The Royal College of Art, are occupying parts of the College in protest against the proposed cuts to education in arts and humanities: Education should be a right for all rather than the privileged few. We act in solidarity with all those facing cuts across the public sphere.

Our demands are as follows: 

That all heads of departments and senior management support the students in fighting the cuts, by immediately issuing a statement condemning all proposed cuts to arts and humanities courses.

That the College uses all its influence to put pressure on the Government to oppose Thursday’s bill. 

That the College drastically improves the current student to staff ratio and imposes a selection process based on merit alone and not ability to pay.

That the College issues a statement to its students apologising for the decline in the quality and availability of its facilities. We demand that the college guarantees that it will improve its current quality of teaching. For too long has the College been happy with compromising its students’ educational experience, as the rapid increase of students across the college or the hiring out of the Gallery spaces to outside unrelated institutions shows. 

That the college provides complete financial transparency for all of its budgets which are to be made readily available to every student and member of staff.

Maintenance grants and materials budgets are to be restored immediately.

That the fees are decreased as an essential step in preserving the College’s reputation as a socio-culturally diverse rather than elitist institution. 

An end to the situation imposed upon departments, where they are forced to be territorial over limited resources.

Anyone present in the occupation will not be arrested, fired or expelled. Immunity to all academic and security staff who show involvement or support to students.

24-hour access to the facilities and premises of the Royal College of Art.


Following an evening of discussions the RCA has now gone into occupancy joining other institutions across the country.
We will make another announcement tomorrow to fellow students with other developments and further conversation.
In solidarity
The Long Night RCA

Monday, 6 December 2010

The Long Night RCA

Tuesday 7th December 6.30pm

RCA Café Kensington

In response to widespread budget cuts by the Coalition government, students at the Royal College of Art are holding a late-night skill-sharing event at the College’s Student Union café in Kensington from 6.30pm on Tuesday, 7th December. A cold snap of unprecedented cuts to arts and humanities education and a proposed rise in tuition fees is upon us. As artists and educators, the land before us lies wasted and frozen. Unless we unite and fight.

The evening will open up networks and collaborative efforts by students, staff and artists – marry up thinkers and doers, join working hands with working solutions. A parliamentary vote on whether to lift the cap on university fees is set for Thursday, 9th December. The time for debate is over. We all know where we stand. We all know what we stand to lose. We need to resist. Now.

The Royal College of Art is the UK’s only postgraduate art institution. Its reputation is unparalleled – its teachers are masters in their craft and it draws its students from all walks of life. Uncapping university fees will put the College’s unique culture and legacy out of reach to all but the wealthiest students. Studying for an MA at the RCA is serious business. If the Coalition gets its way, it will just be a business.

Add your voice, bring big ideas. We know it’s bloody cold outside – warm us with the heat of political anger, not hot air. Come ready for action, not reaction.