The Royal College of Art has suspended admissions for this year’s design interaction course due to a shortage of teaching staff. The news of the suspension is the latest upset to hit the college – which is considered to be one of the UK’s leading art and design schools – but has been accused by students and tutors of becoming too business-like in the face of government cuts.
A number of senior and teaching staff have stepped down from the RCA over the past year. These have included Anthony Dunne, the head of the design interaction course, and Fiona Raby, a tutor in the department, who both resigned in March of this year.
“Several tutors left this summer instead of working their notices until December,” stated an alumnus to the Art Newspaper – who wished to remain anonymous. A spokeswoman for the RCA added the college had “put in place arrangements” shortly before the end of the summer term, but that “the situation changed again and we made the decision to focus on the continuing students”.
In light of these event the RCA is set to lose £750,000 “because of not being able to fulfil the quota for new overseas students across all programmes”, the alumnus added, stating that the closure of the design interaction course to first years accounted for £300,000 of that total.
But the college has stated that the situation has improved, according to the spokeswoman for the RCA; “That was a snapshot early in the year. Recruitment has continued and this is no longer the case. In addition, the majority of applicants from design interaction have now opted to join another programme beginning this academic year,” she told the Art Newspaper.