STUDENTS IN full time education will no longer have to pay to be members of the ICE, it was decided at the Council meeting on 21 April.
The policy was adopted as a way of increasing under graduate membership of the Institution which is in decline. Currently 3,650 students are ICE members which is less than half the 10,300 students on relevant full time courses in the UK, and it was felt that the £13 basic subscription was the root cause of the low take up of student membership.
From 1999, the first SARTOR intake, Council voted to make ICE membership free for full time students with the aim of signing up 100% of those eligible to join the Institution.
ICE president Sir Alan Cockshaw explained to the meeting that at the moment the £41,000 ICE student subsidy goes to support only a minority of the people studying engineering. He wanted to see the money spent more equably.
'The majority of engineering institutions do have free membership,' he said. 'If we allow all civil engineering undergraduates free membership we begin very positively to win their hearts and minds for the future. Having met students from 15 universities on my travels round the country I am convinced that this is the way to go forward.'
Much of the ICE student subsidy goes towards underwriting the cost of Civil Engineering which is sent to each student member.
It was suggested to Council that Civil Engineering no longer be sent to students and that information contained in the publication could be better disseminated to them via the Internet.
The policy of free student membership will be a critical part of the proposals for subscriptions and fees for 1999 which will be presented to the Council for approval at its next meeting in June.