I am writing in response to your article on riba Council (aj 23.7.98). This quotes me as saying that students are a 'drain' on London region's reserves. I feel I must protest at this.
London region has over 2000 student and subscriber members, more than the number of corporate members in the majority of other regions. However, regional funding is currently allocated on the basis of corporate membership only and does not take into account membership of any other status. We receive funding for 5032 members (at £19 per member. the lowest per capita rate of any region), yet support 7172 members. This is accepted as a problem by Alex Reid, and he has undertaken to address it - but to suggest that we look upon students as 'bleeding London funds' is a wholly inaccurate representation both of my view and that of London region.
We fully support student and subscriber members. We see student members as an essential part of the riba and recognise the need to involve them as early as possible. We actively recruit in the schools each year and this has been reflected in the increase in student members. My reasons for raising this issue in Council was to ensure that we are able to provide a satisfactory service to all members regardless of status.