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Protest on free education at UAL’s Kings Cross campus

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Published date 20 March 2015

A group of students have staged a protest in the reception area of our Kings Cross campus, joining a long tradition of art school demonstrations against government plans for education.

University of the Arts London shares the passion they profess for Foundation in Art and Design. That is why we announced our plan to bring our Foundation courses together under one roof from 2020.

It is true that we are reducing places in Foundation, mainly at London College of Communication, although not by 800 as the protesters claim. That’s because we don’t think it fair to make students study – and pay all the associated living costs – for longer than necessary

Foundation does what it says on the tin: it educates people in art and design. But most courses at LCC are in communications, so Foundation isn’t needed there. As it is, only a third of LCC undergraduates hold a foundation qualification.

By recruiting students straight from school-level education, we are able to reduce the number of years they need to study and the associated living costs. This will make a big difference to the very diverse community at London College of Communication, where over 43% of our undergraduate students declare a lower socio-economic status.

In the face of wider budget pressures, we are maintaining our investment in our successful Widening Participation scheme, which helps people from disadvantaged backgrounds enter the university and supports them while they study.

We will continue to work with individuals, schools and other organisations from under-represented communities to encourage them into art and design education. For those students who are interested in studying a foundation course, this will continue to be offered at other UAL sites.