2nd ANNUAL BUILT ENVIRONMENT EDUCATION CONFERENCE, 12 – 13TH SEPTEMBER 2006 The Future of Architectural Education in the UK Dr Chris Ellis RIBA Acting Director of Education
THE RIBA VICE PRESIDENT (EDUCATION)’S INITIATIVE Launched by Simon Allford in September 2005 The Future of Architectural Education in the UK
ARCHITECTURAL EDUCATION & PRACTICE TODAY UK Architectural Education has a tremendous worldwide reputation. Architecture continues to increase in popularity as a university subject. Excellent base of architectural practice in the UK built on foundations of educational excellence. Architecture is becoming an important UK export. BUT some problems loom...
ISSUES FACING ARCHITECTURAL EDUCATION TODAY Student Numbers New Higher Education Fee Regime in England Changing Nature of the Profession Education/Practice Relationships
STUDENT NUMBERS Steady increase of entrants to UK Part 1 courses (2294 in 2000; 3042 in 2004). No corresponding increase in entrants to UK Part 2 courses (1492 in 2000; 1377 in 2004).
‘NON-PROGRESSION’ OF PART 1 CANDIDATES Move onto other related careers having found the Part 1 equips them with excellent transferable skills. Not interested in doing a Part 2 which is more of the same. Level of debt incurred whilst obtaining Part 1 is a deterrent.
NEW HEFCE FEE REGIME £3,000 p.a. for entrants to Part 1 in England from September 2006. No up-front payment, but fear of debt could deter students, particularly from non-traditional backgrounds. ARCHAOS estimate a debt of £45 - £55k for English graduates emerging from Part 2 under the new regime. A real problem given the low pay in the profession.
FINAL AWARD Integrated (undergraduate) MArch as applicable in Scotland still to be negotiated with HEFCE in England. English Russell Group universities moving to Masters Part 2 awards to better align with research activities to enhance RAE outcomes, but with the consequence of increased student fees and loss of automatic entitlement to student loans and Council Tax reductions.
CHANGING NATURE OF THE PROFESSION Existing Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 Validation Criteria assume ‘general practice’ model of the architect’s role. Current criteria too constraining and limit scope for specialisation. Opportunity to incorporate some specialisation at Part 2 would be welcomed.
PRACTICE / EDUCATION LINKS Practice: “Schools don’t equip graduates for practice” Schools: “It’s not our role to prepare ‘oven-ready’ graduates for practice – our role is to develop critical/intellectual abilities”
PRACTICE/EDUCATION LINKS Most practitioners who work part-time as studio teachers are from small/medium sized practices. Many large practices don’t encourage or support staff to engage with higher education. Practices could benefit from engagement with the research/innovation undertaken in universities.
. SO WHAT DO WE DO?
RIBA VICE PRESIDENT (EDUCATION)’s INITIATIVE Aims to: Facilitate flexibility in study patterns Promote flexible entry routes into the profession Promote closer links between architectural education and practice
RIBA VICE PRESIDENT (EDUCATION)’s INITIATIVE Key Belief: “The knowledge and skills required to qualify as an architect can be acquired in practice (and not just architectural practice), and not just in academia (and certainly not simply in architectural academia)”
RIBA VICE PRESIDENT (EDUCATION)’s INITIATIVE Aims to encourage and facilitate change. Does not seek to force change. Schools operating successful conventional 3+2 or 4+1 programmes can continue to do so.
VALIDATION CRITERIA The current rewrite of the validation criteria by the RIBA, SCHOSA and the ARB should ensure: That the validation criteria are written as learning outcomes in a way that facilitates their being achieved via work-based learning in practice as well as in academia. That the learning outcomes are expressed as discrete elements to facilitate more flexible routes through the whole system.
VALIDATION CRITERIA Current thinking: First three years likely to remain as a general introduction to architecture - could lead to a new class of non-vocational RIBA member (opens up architecture). Replace existing Part 1 and Part 2 Validation Criteria with 11 (or so) elements based on the points of the EU Architects Directive met over 5 years of f/t programme. Opportunity to incorporate specialisation in later years.
VALIDATION CRITERIA Current thinking (cont): A single qualification MArch available after 5 years full-time or equivalent on meeting all Validation Criteria. Optional BA/BSc or BA(Hons)/BSc(Hons) exit awards after 3/4 years.
VALIDATION CRITERIA Current thinking (cont): Assumes that the current Part 3 continues to exist as the final gateway into the profession - although this is under threat given the possibility of UK graduates joining the register without a Part 3 through registering in Europe. Part 3 criteria need to be re-written as clear learning outcomes.
THE FUTURE - for schools Existing Part 1 and Part 2 merged around 11 points of the EU Directive. Eliminating overlap between Part 1 and Part 2 allows specialisations to be incorporated. A single recognised qualification MArch after 5 years full-time or equivalent.
THE FUTURE - for schools Schools deliver those elements of the criteria they are best capable of delivering; they don’t have to teach everything if they don’t want to, but can focus on their strengths perhaps linked to research interests. Schools establish new links with other educational institutions and/or teaching practices to allow students to meet full set of criteria.
THE FUTURE - for students The 11 points of the new criteria can be met via flexible routes in academia and in practice ….and at different rates by different students. New structure allows routes in from other academic and practical backgrounds ….and routes out to other professions.
THE FUTURE - for students Students no longer on a conveyor belt from age 18 ….should no longer be “one speed; one product”. Students can design and take responsibility for their personalised route through education and professional experience.
DEVELOPING EDUCATION/ PRACTICE LINKS Encourage a model where universities validate the delivery of agreed learning outcomes in practice through work-based learning. Investigate funding of work-based learning through the validating universities.
DEVELOPING EDUCATION/ PRACTICE LINKS Through the new RIBA Chartered Practice Scheme require practices to commit to minimum salaries and employment conditions for students and graduates. Develop the concept of the ‘Teaching Practice’ which will commit to key conditions in supporting employees through work-based learning.
DEVELOPING EDUCATION/ PRACTICE LINKS Teaching Practices might also commit to working with schools in delivering traditional studio-based teaching. Encourage schools to develop networks of small local practices to share student support.
ULTIMATE AIMS More intelligent practices informed by closer links with academia. Academia strengthened by closer links with practices, both in teaching/learning and in research.
ULTIMATE AIMS Breaking down artificial barriers between academia and professions leading to enlightened education stronger profession better architecture.
CONTRIBUTE TO THE DISCUSSION Contact: Chris Ellis, RIBA Acting Director of Education Email: email@example.com Phone: 020 7307 3716