UAL students protest against job cuts and course restructuring

Neither CCW students or the Students’ Union were consulted about the plans

A group of all female students occupied a room in Chelsea College of Arts yesterday evening, protesting against proposed job cuts and course restructuring at the Chelsea, Camberwell and Wimbledon campuses of University of the Arts London.

The occupiers are not confident that current restructures represent the best interests of the students, particularly noting the failure to consult proposed changes with students and the Students’ Union.

Plans for restructure include: immediate cuts to eight research jobs; moving from Deans of Colleges to Subject Deans; implied cuts to specialist courses and changes to the use of space.

These changes could result in less studio room and students having to travel across sites to access resources.

They stressed that the protest would be peaceful and would not disrupt the colleges

Occupier Marianne May, a third year studying Fine Art at Chelsea, said: “I am in occupation because of massive changes planned to my university without student or staff consultation.

“The restructure is a top-down, bureaucratic decision made by management on huge salaries, which is a threat to jobs and courses.”

Another Fine Art third year and occupier, Daisy Young, added: “I am very worried about the proposed centralisation of the Fine Art courses and workshops across CCW.

“Students will have to travel across London to access different specialist facilities, increasing the needed for expensive travel cards and pushing out students from less privileged backgrounds.”


She added: “These changes are not about making CCW better for students, but about marketing our education.”

Ana Oppenheim, Arts Student Union Campaigns Officer, commented: “The Students’ Union regrets that we only found out about these changes two weeks ago, after many decisions had already been made.

“Students have had no chance to input into reforms that will directly affect them.

“We hope the university will treat the protesters with the respect they deserve and meet our very reasonable demands.”