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ARB recognition fees are plain extortion

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As non-EU architects (Part 2) or architects qualified in another country working in the UK, we have to get our Part 1 and 2 degrees recognised by the ARB before we can sit the Part 3 exam.

This has been the norm since 1985 (I think) and has been perfectly accepted and understood, with the application fee, until recently, costing £395 (last year it was £300). This fee is for the application and a possible interview with a panel of ARB board members if the application requirements are met.

Last week I was informed by friends and other non-EU associates that all applications needed to be handed in with payment by last Friday (29 October), because after this date the fee was going up to £2,000.

The increases are as follows:Part 1 - £998; and Part 2 - £998.

The Part 2 application fee is currently £240, so this is an increase of 300 per cent.

It raises a few questions as to why the price has escalated so extremely. Surely this is unjustifiable for an application and interview procedure by members of the ARB board that remains unchanged?

Also, we have been given no public notification or written notice in any publication of the increase of these fees, as well as no information published or posted on the ARB website. I notified my architectural practice, which employs several international architects, and no one had any knowledge of this increase.

If the reason for no information being available is because it is a very recent decision by the ARB, surely the price hike would seem rash and uncalculated or just plain extortion?

As foreign architects who want to practise in the UK, we are held to ransom by whatever fees the ARB decides to charge for this recognition. It seems that the board has used this fact and kept it quiet in the knowledge that we will just quietly pay up because we have no choice and no voice to complain.

When confronted via telephone, the ARB would give no reason for the price increase.

Perhaps you might find this interesting enough to investigate and perhaps answer a few questions for some very concerned people.

Name and address withheld

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