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ARB must be aware of student discrimination

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Larry Parker's comments (AJ 17.10.02) could potentially open up a whole can of worms for the ARB and architectural education. In 1998, BIAT and the RIBA conducted a study to assess the content of each degree and found that there was an overlap of 50 per cent. So if there is evidence of the similarities, why is the route to becoming a qualified architect set so rigid and why is their no real transference between courses? Why has architectural education put itself upon a pedestal?

Recently, I undertook four months' work experience in a practice where design work was undertaken by architects, technicians and technologists who worked effectively in teams, and qualifications became blurred and irrelevant. I agree with Mr Parker that architectural education should change to allow people with certain skills to take a specialist route once a first degree has been obtained, also that there are highly skilled technician designers in practices.

I appreciate education and experience are vastly different areas of architectural training and that different people gain different amounts from each one. But if potential students from low income families see that technologists can reach the same level as architects, will they not just opt to take three years at university rather than the five for architecture.

If this is true then the ARB is surely fathering elitism and discriminating towards highly skilled potential students that cannot afford to study to become an architect.

Lee Machell, student architectural technologist, Leeds Metropolitan University

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