Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

RCA Expands and Seeks to Suck in More Students

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

RCA Expands and Seeks to Suck in More Students

Article excerpt

The Royal College of Art is going ahead with plans for expansion despite an uncertain future for postgraduate education.

At the start of the academic year, the Kensington-based institution opened the Dyson Building across the River Thames in Battersea, part funded by a Pounds 5 million donation from the entrepreneur James Dyson.

The building is part of a Pounds 61 million "master plan" to add some 10,000 square metres to its sites by 2021.

Plans to physically expand the postgraduate-only college run alongside a strategy to increase the number of students by 50 per cent and shift its emphasis towards research.

"We view the future with caution and a degree of optimism," said RCA rector Paul Thompson. It will be a question of "wait and see" as to whether increased debt will discourage home students under the new fee regime from postgraduate study, he said.

The highly selective college has not experienced any decline in enrolment, nor in employability of its graduates, but "the visa issue" for staff and students, a significant percentage of whom are from outside the EU, remained a concern, he said. …

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