About 30 students from across Scotland are staging a sit-in at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland today (Friday) in protest against the institution’s announcement of 9k fees for RUK (Rest of UK) students.

Students occupy the RCS

Following on from Edinburgh’s occupation last Friday, the students promise to disrupt management at Scottish universities with an ongoing campaign of targeted 36 hour occupations. The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, along with St Andrews and Edinburgh Universities, have set their fees at the most expensive rate in the UK for students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

“We – students from the RCS and a range of Scottish higher education institutions – are occupying the RCS because we oppose the introduction of £9000 fees.

“We believe that education should be public and free for all. To this end we demand that the RCS and other universities and higher education bodies, express their opposition to education cuts and withdraw fees for all courses. We also demand that the University pledge not to privatize or cut courses, or introduce compulsory redundancies.

“These demands are non-negotiable. We will only accept a response from the University in the form of a public statement by the Principal to the national media. We also demand a statement from the RCS Students’ Union.

“The Conservatoire should not pursue or support any legal action or other repercussions against those involved in this legitimate and peaceful form of protest.

“We call upon other individuals or institutions in Scotland to publicly support these principles and demands.”

Chris, who did not wish to give his last name, a strings student at the RSC, said:

“The announcement that the RCS are introducing sky-high fees will not only reduce diversity and access in Scotland’s only conservatoire, but will also damage the quality and talent in the arts in Scotland as a whole.”