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Schools warned over technology

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The riba and arb have at last presented a united front on education - with a warning to architecture schools that they will not be recognised by either body if they fail to give a proper emphasis to technology in their Part I and II programmes.

The accord came about at a jointly sponsored training event last week, held on neutral turf at the University of Central England in Birmingham. The conference was held for key education players and members of the riba arb joint validation panel, the joint assessment panel and overseas validation panel.

riba honorary secretary Roger Shrimplin warned schools of the obligations contained within the eu Directive and uk Registration Act, with which all course providers seeking to maintain or obtain exemption from the riba examinations must comply. He emphasised that graduates must be properly equipped for careers in practice, a view echoed by arb representatives including, aj understands, board chair Barbara Kelly.

The comments came in response to suggestions that technology might be considered an inappropriate subject for formal study in schools, and that it was best left to architects to pursue during their period of practical training before qualification.

riba education vice-president Paul Hyett said that practices expected to supplement the input of schools, but would not take on their role in technical education. Students seeking a career in practice must achieve an appropriate capability in this field through course teaching. While neither the riba nor arb have the power to close schools, Hyett said that their authority to withdraw recognition of courses for exemption from riba examinations could and would be used if technology teaching was unacceptably downgraded or abandoned.

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