Students occupy London Met art gallery as faculty dean is suspended

Protest sparked by suspension of highly respected architecture professor who refused to support relocation of the school

December 10, 2015
cass save the architecture design london met
Source: istock
Teaching will be located solely at London Metropolitan's Holloway campus under plans announced last month

Student activists have taken over a university art gallery in protest at a proposed sell-off of the building that houses London Metropolitan University’s design school.

Protesters moved into the Bank Gallery in Whitechapel High Street to demonstrate against London Met’s plan to merge all departments into one campus.

The gallery is part of the university’s Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design, whose impending relocation has sparked widespread criticism from students, staff and senior figures in the arts and design industries.

The occupation began on the evening of 9 December after news emerged of the suspension of Robert Mull as dean of the faculty. Professor Mull, who has refused to support the “One Campus, One Community” programme, will continue to teach as professor of architecture and spatial design.

In a joint statement, London Met and Professor Mull said: “Professor Mull’s duties as dean of faculty have been suspended while discussions take place about his role on the senior management team.”

Protesters say they have been told by London Met that they will not be prevented from occupying the building while discussions about Professor Mull take place.

It is estimated the sale of Cass’ Central House could generate around £50 million, which would be reinvested as part of a £125 million revamp of London Met’s Holloway campus.

A second Cass building in nearby Commercial Road was sold to the Department for Education in June 2015 for £55 million.

In a statement released by Occupy Cass, protesters urged London Met to “take Central House off the market now”.

“Shrinking London Met to one campus will mean course cuts, job losses and a cut to student places,” it said, adding that “there is not nearly enough room to house all the courses taught here at Holloway Road”.

“Our fantastic Central House building, which has only recently been refurbished, is a brilliant learning environment and the perfect place for students of the Cass to study art, architecture and music,” they continued.

“Selling off Central House to luxury property developers or the banking industry would be a disgrace,” the statement added.

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

Home secretary says government will support 'best' universities

Man handing microphone to audience member

Academic attainment of disadvantaged students can be improved if they can decide how they are assessed, study claims

Woman drinking tea from saucer

Plugging a multibillion-pound deficit exacerbated by June’s poll result may require ‘drastic measures’, analysts have warned

Italy's gold medallist

New measures to ensure universities are ‘not penalised’ for taking poorer students also outlined for next stage of TEF

Classroom, school

Higher education institutions can and should do more to influence education at a secondary school level, says Edward Peck