The vice Chancellor at UAL gets paid £100,000 more per year than the Prime Minister. Running the country is important and all, but clearly the UAL Vice chancellor Nigel Carrington thinks his job is more valuable.
In light of this students at the university came together to celebrate his gigantic wages on his pay day this Tuesday. They were joined by some friends - writer Owen Jones came to join the party as did Piers Telemacque, Vice President of the NUS.
The university has decided to cut 800 places on foundation courses to further entrench the growing elitism in the arts and at Universities. Oh and they didn't tell anyone about it. No consultations were held showing a complete disregard for students, who you would think would be the first people they would have spoken to.
Management flexed their muscles, which although large, don't come close in comparison to their hefty paychecks.
Foundation courses are important as they provide students with a wide range of crucial skills pre Degree. Cutting them would be a massive disadvantage to students, especially those from working class backgrounds.
The move by the university is essentially a cleansing of working class students from the arts, something that seems to be happening at an alarming rate. Poorer students are being forced out of creative fields and this needs to be stopped and quickly. Government policy and cuts have galvanized and facilitated this social cleansing exasperating an issue that is hugely prevalent already.
Debate on the issue has been raging for a while now: extortionately high fees for performing arts schools, the continuing devaluing of art subjects in the curriculum, the draining of support for more disadvantaged students. This is not a coincidence this is systematic.
The education system is reverting back to that of the Industrial revolution, where class streaming was prominent. The goal now for institutions is to provide a conveyor belt of passive workers lacking the ability to think critically. It is creating a mindless mass workforce.
The likes of Benedict Cumberbatch, Eddie Redmayne and even Sam Smith who dominate their fields is evidence that the most important criteria for success in the arts is the luck of birth, this is where universities, schools and the government should come in and provide the support to level that playing field, but the opposite Is happening; they're making the gap even wider.
The outcome of prioritizing profit and reputation is 800 redundancies. Reports that teachers are working in a climate of fear are also directly linked: teachers, like students, are being silenced.
The unstable nature of teaching in this day and age due to such changes is massively detrimental to the education of students, which perhaps forgotten, is the priority. UAL students are highlighting this as well as the wage disparity in staff, who are being treated with the very same contempt as students.