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Free RIBA for students will invigorate institute

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The important move of giving free membership of the RIBA to all architecture students should be celebrated, not complained about as a cost (AJ 7.10.04). It seems the AJ has chosen only to report the comments of a handful of miserablists. I proposed this move to council, after taking soundings directly from students in various schools, and found them positive and even enthusiastic.

Our membership survey favoured a small levy on the sub to pay for this, rather than a charge to practices as first proposed. It is remarkable that we achieved that for a mere 1 per cent over-inflation increase.

Widespread student membership will invigorate the RIBA and is a reform that will, I hope, bring students closer to the practising profession.

George Ferguson , president, RIBA, London W1

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