The following statement has been released by the Royal College of Art and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
The joint Royal College of Art and V&A MA Course in Conservation has been running since 1989 and has acquired an international reputation. However, the V&A's priorities and needs in conservation training have changed and the RCA and V&A have therefore taken the decision to close the course.
In light of these changes new students for the course have not been recruited since 2008. The RCA and V&A remain fully committed to the current students to the conclusion of their studies.
The V&A is now planning a work-based Conservation Development Programme which will be based on the V&A's existing Assistant Curator Development Programme. However this is not a direct continuation of the MA course.
The aim of the programme is to train conservation graduates or other graduates with transferable skills through work-based learning to develop specialist skills in areas in which the V&A needs additional assistance such as upholstery, textiles conservation and textile mounting. It will not offer a degree qualification, but it is hoped that this modular training will soon be endorsed by the EDi and will result in a national NVQ qualification.