Art and Design Schools in the UK need to listen to their student bodies and offer current students flexibility that is accessible for all. Provisions must be made for studio-based learners in order to work towards a mutually beneficial agreement, whereby students receive quality education without jeopardizing the financial stability of HEIs (Higher Education Institutions). In unity, the government needs to play a role in financially aiding the higher education sector to reach an ideal solution for the future of education in the UK. 


It is necessary that HEIs:

  • Fight for the Two-Year Post-Study Work Visa Extensions to be brought forward for graduates.

  • Support and safeguard international students with regards to visas, financial aid in lieu of work hour restrictions, and No Recourse to Public Funds.

  • Guarantee a physical degree show for graduates - This includes provisions for 2-3 months of full access to workshops and studios or financial support to access external facilities. 

And allow students to either:


  • Deferral Regulations to not disregard requests made based on impacts of the pandemic - It is a physical impossibility and dangerous to suggest a continuation of artistic activities outside the studio and the safety of a workshop. 



  • Refund previous fees and discount upcoming fees to reflect the loss of teaching, studios, access to facilities, and industry networking opportunities - Which has been ongoing since the start of the pandemic restrictions. This refund should not affect contractual terms, pay rate, or workload of staff.


Pause or Pay UK was established in April, 2020. We are a cross-university, student-led, campaign arising from inadequate provisions for studio-based learners in the UK. Together our solidarity can transcend this crisis and change the future of arts education. 


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Pause or Pay UK

Pause or Pay is a UK-wide student-led cross-university action group that emerged as a response to disruption of studio-based learning by COVID-19. To date, we have campaigned to MPs, initiated complaints procedures at various institutions and supported tuition fee strikes. Questions? Interested in helping out? Email us at or find us at and @pauseorpayuk on Instagram and Twitter. Sign up to join the organising here: