NCAD students protest over cuts and overcrowding at college

Undergraduates up 16% in recent years but funding down 23%, while staff numbers slide

Students at National College of Art and Design view the 1913 Tapestry. A complaint has been made about “management of revenue rather than the education and welfare of students”. Photograph: The Irish Times

Students at National College of Art and Design view the 1913 Tapestry. A complaint has been made about “management of revenue rather than the education and welfare of students”. Photograph: The Irish Times

 

Students at the National College of Art and Design demonstrated on Friday over cuts and overcrowding at the college.

Several hundred students gathered at the college to deliver signed letters of protest to college director Declan McGonagle.

The letter sent to Mr McGonagle reads: “It has become evident that the administrations primary concern at present is the management of revenue rather than the education and welfare of students.

“This shift in the college’s ideology has left current students abandoned and alumni disillusioned about the value of their degrees and the future of contemporary art in Ireland.”

‘Reckless’

In recent years student numbers have risen by more than 16 per cent but public funding has been cut by 23 per cent, while staff numbers have fallen by 10 per cent.

The letter noted the “reckless” increase of student numbers “is impossible to justify without appropriate student facilities for students.”

The students delivered the letter to Mr McGonagle’s office at lunchtime on Friday.

“If these conditions are not met we will escalate our campaign throughout and beyond college,” the letter reads.

Last year head of the Higher Education Authority Tom Boland warned that the sector was reaching a tipping point as a consequence of cuts to funding and staffing.