Over 100 students at Wimbledon College of Arts have taken over a lecture theatre in protest of what they describe as the ‘marketisation’ of art education.

At the protest on Wednesday, a range of speakers including the artist Bob and Roberta Smith discussed the state of education and the impact this is having on current and future art students.

The organisers of the protest, described as a “reclaiming of space within the university” rather than an occupation, tweeted updates from @Revolution_WCA throughout the day using the hashtag #reclaimWCA.

A statement from the organisers following the protest said: “The aim of the action was to create a safe space where students, and anyone who shows an interest, could openly view their opinion of their educational experience.

“We want to try and figure out the roots of some of the issues we are facing in today’s educational institutions, especially in the corporation that is University of the Arts London [UAL].

“We decided a huge amount of change needs to happen within our universities. As students we have the numbers and freedom of speech that maybe employees of UAL do not have the luxury of.”

The group, who are planning a range of activities over the coming weeks, believe the issues are present mainly due to the corporate nature of the heads of UAL.

They said: “As students of a small art school that is part of a huge corporation, we have noticed big changes that have inhibited students with regards to accessibility, lack of resources, attending lectures due to timetabling, and diversity within our education, amongst many others.”

A spokesperson for University of the Arts London said: “We can confirm that a peaceful student-led demonstration took place at Wimbledon College of Arts which ended at approximately 8.30pm [on Wednesday].”