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Schools carry the can in education dispute

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Paul Hyett (aj 24.6.99) may be grateful to me but architectural education may not always reciprocate. While usually witty and well-informed, his campaign to reform the arb engorges every tit-bit thrown his way. My purpose, foolish obviously, in drawing the appropriate member's attention to the paper of record was to encourage the riba to act. The best move seemed to me to make representation to the bodies charged with promoting the Prime Minister's initiative. I did not realise that I was providing copy for your august organ.

The recruitment drive should help architecture schools continue to provide education to those from abroad who prefer our system to their own. But we are not only concerned with the education of architects in the narrowest sense. Many architecture schools not only provide education for professional entry but also at Masters and PhD levels. It would be useful if the vice president gave a clearer steer on plans for the profession to recognise this contribution to knowledge.

He may blow riba's trumpet about the success of overseas validation. However, a more sanguine observer might note that every time these bodies recognise an overseas school, opportunities for the home market could be weakened. That said, I for one would welcome a speedier resolutuion of the apparent conflict between the riba and arb. Schools carry the can whatever happens.

David Dunster

Roscoe Professor of Architecture

University of Liverpool

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