Angry Students to Stage Protest at Glasgow School of Art

Organizers accuse the school of functioning like 'a financial services institution.'

The front facade of Charles Rennie Mackintosh's building at the Glasgow School of Art. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Incensed students at the Glasgow School of Art have organized a one-day boycott to demonstrate their discontentment with how the institute is being managed. The protest is due to take place on October 27, during an undergraduate open day.

The staff is being accused of prioritizing a push for higher student population (by 25 percent) for the next two years, thus brushing aside the needs of current students and teachers—who, according to The Scotsman, are said to already be “overstretched and frustrated.”

“The Glasgow School of Art seems to value its brand more than the education of its students without whom there would be no art school,” said the organizers of the campaign in a statement. “It is expanding year on year and increasing student tuition fees, yet the services, studio space and student/teacher ratio is not reflecting this expansion. We are fed up. What are we paying for?”

The protest follows the announcement of an £80 million ($96 million) plan to revamp the entirety of the school’s campus. £25 million of this has been allotted to the reconstruction of the famous Mackintosh building that was badly damaged in a 2014 fire.

The school, founded in 1845, bills itself as “one of Europe’s leading higher education institutions for the visual creative disciplines.”

A spokeswoman for the institution released a statement in response to the protest, saying: “Our planned growth in student numbers is being met alongside significant strategic investment in our campus, in our staffing and resources, not least the restoration of the Mackintosh Building and the Stow Building as a new home for the school of fine art.”


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