Staff and students from the Sheffield School of Architecture have commented in the Architects Journal on the government’s decision to scrap maintenance grants. In the article, architects and students have hit out at decision saying the move will deter budding architects from going to university
The plans were first announced by George Osborne in the Budget but the change, which is expected to affect more than half a million students, went through without a debate or vote in the House of Commons last week (14 January).
The scrapping of the grants will affect students starting university in September 2016.
Part 2 student Lily Ingleby said: “It’s a terrible move away from education equality and creating diverse and representative professions of the future.”
Head of School, Professor Fionn Stevenson commented “Will this affect the number of students applying for architecture? Of course it will. Even when we manage to reduce the time spent in full-time education for students, as we are doing in Sheffield with our new RIBA accredited MArch Collaborative Practice route, where students spend a year in practice while they are learning with us, some students still need grants.”
Satwinder Samra & Sofie Pelsmakers, Sheffield School of Architecture & RIBA Role Models, said “The cutting of maintenance grants only raises the barriers for many talented students to enter the profession, which is already fairly exclusive. We need architects from all walks of life to contribute to the built environment – not just those that can afford it.”
A petition launched against the plans has already amassed 6,881 signatures.