Public Affairs

Education cuts campaign

Join RIAS and RIBA campaign against funding cuts for architecture education in Scotland

March 2010

As a result of pressure from RIBA and others the Scottish Funding Council has decided to delay the implementation of any re-banding of subjects until 2011-12. However, the argument is still not won. You can still put pressure on your local politicans so that the cuts are not made.


The Scottish Funding Council released a consultation at the end of 2009 which proposed a re-banding of architecture education which would in effect lead to a cut of 22% for architecture courses in Scotland. The RIBA, RIAS, RTPI and many other organisations have responded to the consultation robustly against this proposed cut.  

You can help us to put pressure on the Scottish Funding Council to rethink their proposals by doing two things:

  1. You can email Mike Russell, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Life Long Learning to express your opposition to the proposed 22% cut in funding for architecture education in Scotland. Mike Russell’s email address is You  should also copy in your MSP; you can find their details here.
  2. You can email your local MSP asking them show their support by signing the parliamentary motion below tabled by Marilyn Livingstone MSP.


S3M-05603 Marilyn Livingstone (Kirkcaldy) (Scottish Labour): Proposed Cuts to Funding for Architecture, Built Environment and Planning

That the Parliament notes with concern the proposal by the Scottish Funding Council to cut funding for architecture, built environment and planning in universities by 22%; understands that, should the Scottish Funding Council reduce the number of funding groups from 25 to four as proposed, the effect of this for the built environment group would be a fall in funding, on the basis of 2008-09 figures, from £6,415 to £5,000 per student, which would represent the largest of the cuts proposed to any sector and would place architecture, built environment and planning in the lowest funding group; further understands that some concern has been raised about the incomplete and partial evidence on which the proposal is founded; believes that a 22% cut in funding would severely impede the Scottish Government’s targets on climate change and housing through reducing the number of built environment graduates who would be expected to lead in developing building standards and sustainable and energy-efficient designs and exacerbating an already strained planning system, and urges the Scottish Funding Council to reconsider its proposals for such drastic changes to the funding system at a time when investment should be encouraged.

Key points which you might like to make in your email or letter:


  • Scotland’s place is a world-leading centre for training architects this could be destroyed if the cuts go ahead and Scotland’s economic competitiveness could be drastically reduced.


  • The Scottish Funding Council’s proposed cut is linked to its assumption that architecture is not a studio-based subject and therefore cheaper to teach. However architecture education does require a significant level of studio work including technical support, space and materials as endorsed by the new QAA benchmark statement for architecture.


  • For RIBA validation of architecture courses over 50% of the student work should be design-based, done in a studio. If there are such severe cuts this may compromise the ability of the RIBA to validate courses.


  • Under current arrangements, students of the built environment, including architecture and town planning, receive £6,700 a year to cover course costs. But in a consultation document on how all subjects are funded, published on September 25, the SFC proposed a cut to £5,000 a year, a drop of 22%, the biggest fall of all subjects.


  • Should it go ahead, Scottish students would be funded by a third less than their counterparts in England.


  • The Scottish Funding Council’s proposal to cut funding for architecture education in Scotland by 22% fails to take account of the key importance that the built environment plays in reducing carbon emissions, promoting economic growth and making Scotland’s towns and cities better places to live.


Please ensure you include your address in your email - this is very important when writing to MSPs.  

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