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Archaos calls for transparency

Student leaders have demanded that schools of architecture reveal their ARB/RIBA validation status, as thousands of freshers begin their courses ignorant of the issue.

Student body Archaos has this month launched a campaign to force all universities to inform applicants of the importance of the validation system. It is demanding schools declare whether they are fully validated, partially validated, conditionally validated or without validation.

The organisation's vice-chair, Ben Stone, told the AJ that it was 'incredible that schools were allowed to recruit students without informing them of this incredibly important issue.

'There are schools saying they are validated because they have validation from their own university authorities, not the ARB or the RIBA. Students have a right to know that if they join one of the many courses not validated they will have to take an external exam with the ARB before they are allowed to practice, ' Stone added.

The ARB-backed campaign aims to force all schools to declare their ARB and RIBA credentials for all applicants at the UCAS application stage.

And the scheme has won the support of the heads of schools organisation SCHOSA. Deputy chair Kate Heron said that her school, Westminster, had decided that this information should be freely available for the first time this year.

'Our academic registrar has informed us that we need to explain this situation to any applicants as soon as we can provide it, ' she said. 'New students need as much clarity as we can give them.'

Heron added: 'The information should be provided to them automatically. These days applicants should be told whether the course is likely to be around in a few years or not.'

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