300-400 students from the National College of Art and Design (NACD) gathered to demonstrate against cutbacks and overcrowding at the college.
Students have said these cutbacks are damaging to the quality of their studies and on Friday 20th students gathered on Thomas St to deliver signed letters of protest to the college’s director Declan McGonagle. The near 400 strong crowd of student filed into Mr McGonagle’s office to hand deliver their letters of protest.
An extract from the letter read “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.”
Speaking to RTE News Mr McGonagle said he shared the student’s concern, stating that the high reduction in resources across the third-level sector meant there was now a crisis. Adding that, art and design education was now at tipping point and needed to be addressed strategically.
NCAD has said their core funding has fallen by 50%. In recent years student number in the art and design college have risen by more than 16% but public funding has been cut by 23% , while staff number have fallen by 10%.
The students have stated that if their concerns are not addressed they will take further action, with the letter also stating “If these conditions are not met we will escalate our campaign throughout and beyond college”. Students are planning to protest on Tuesday 27th if their concerns have not been addressed.