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Free RIBA membership for students is a winner

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The RIBA Council has in the past been accused of being too conservative in its thinking and edicts and, as with all institutions, there is a tendency to be retrospective.

It is therefore with great pleasure that I can tell you of an institution and its council that is being progressive and making moves towards safeguarding and nurturing the future of the profession.

The issue of free student membership to the RIBA is of vital importance to the future of our great institution. Students give vibrancy and energy to an institution whose average age is in the mid-40s; the RIBA will also have a stronger stance with which to lobby government on education. But most importantly, it will give students an idea of what being a member of the RIBA is all about.

I am delighted that the RIBA Council has agreed to give students the right to take up free student membership (AJ 7.10.04), and the student architectural community is very excited about improving relations between practitioners and students, and moving the RIBA forward into this new millennium.

I hope that the RIBA's feepaying members see that their rise in subscription is going to a cause that will benefit immensely from their generosity, and that we, as students, will repay this by making the RIBA and the worldwide architectural scene an even more vibrant and exciting place to be.

Alex Scott-Whitby, RIBA student representative on council

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