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UCE head quits amid results furore

The head of the University of Central England's (UCE) school of architecture has resigned following this year's appalling exam results, the AJ can reveal.

Thom Gorst has left the school following a Part 1 failure rate of 93 per cent and a failure rate at diploma of 43 per cent.

The AJ understands that Gorst has agreed to take up a position at the University of the West of England's architecture school in Bristol, starting next month.

There he is expected to work for the school's boss Richard Parnaby, who also doubles as the chairman of the Design Commission for Wales.

Gorst's departure comes at a dramatic time for UCE - which has only just won back full prescription from the ARB.

Following the announcement of the shocking results last month (AJ 15.7.04), the university's authorities revealed that they had suspended the school's first-year intake for the forthcoming academic year and had also commissioned an investigation into the disastrous performance.

In a fresh statement last week, UCE confirmed that Gorst is to leave at the end of this month and announced that the dean of the Faculty of the Built Environment would take temporary charge. The statement read: 'It was a personal decision to leave the school. We wish him the very best in his further career.' The latest developments come amid growing rumours that the school's appalling results can be explained by the failure of the students to complete essential elements of certain compulsory modules during their first year. If this is proven, then responsibility for this year's excessively low Part 1 pass rate will lie with the administration that proceeded Gorst's two-year regime.

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