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RIBA looks to extend course validation worldwide

The RIBA is in talks with the International Union of Architects (UIA) over plans to validate every architecture course in the world.

The move, hailed as 'a global passport to practice and study', could potentially see the institute manage the accreditation of schools around the globe.

RIBA president Jack Pringle said that by effectively pulling the validation process under the UIA umbrella - the assembly representing all 116 architectural national institutions - it could allow students to study different 'parts' in different countries.

Pringle also claimed it could come as a boon to employers, allowing them to differentiate between qualifications from overseas.

He said: 'This would really create transportability - a global education system for architecture.

'Young people have a huge appetite to travel and I could see that a student could do their Part One in one country, get experience in another and finish studying in yet another. It would have a big payoff for students.'

However, Pringle admitted the discussions were still at a very early stage and that any system would need the backing of the likes of ARB to make a real difference.

He went on: 'The vision I have of a UIA validation scheme delivering worldwide reciprocity for qualified architects and mobility for students will not be delivered overnight, it could take a decade or more.

'First we have to get the scheme in place, then we have to land a myriad of agreements with governmental bodies. ARB is merely one of them within the umbrella of the EU.'

The RIBA already validates 90 schools around the world, more than any other institution.

by Richard Waite

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