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 report to you an institution and its council that is being progressive and making moves towards safeguarding and nurturing the future of the architectural profession.

I am delighted to report that on 29 September the RIBA council agreed to give students the right to take up free student membership. This issue is of vital importance to the institution’s future. It will bring students together with practitioners and will give the institution, the average age of which is in the mid-40s, an added sense of vibrancy and energy. It will also give the RIBA a stronger stance with which to lobby government on education and, most importantly, it will give students an idea of what being a member of the RIBA is all about.

I hope that the RIBA’s fee-paying members see that the rise in their subscriptions is going to a worthy cause. We as students must repay this by making the RIBA and the international architectural scene an even more vibrant and exciting place to be.

Alex Scott-Whitby, student representative, RIBA council