The average pay for a year-out architecture student in the UK is £11,645, below the National Minimum Wage of £11,856, new research by student group archaos has found. And the organisation has responded with a warning that it is considering a 'name and shame' approach to the problem, publicly highlighting practices that it considers to have abused their student staff.
The survey - which questioned eight per cent of the gap year population in 2001/02 - also revealed that the problem of sexism in the profession has not gone away, with eight per cent of those questioned reporting experiences of discrimination. The finding will disappoint the RIBA council, which three years ago recommended to all member practices that they match or better the national pay minimum.
Claire Barton, chair of archaos, said that she was 'saddened' with the survey's findings. 'But I wasn't surprised, ' she said. 'The fact is that architecture students need to be more aggressive in demanding reasonable conditions.' And she warned that archaos has plans in place for a more militant approach to the problem: 'We are discussing the possibility of posting the practices with track records of abusing students on our website.'
lCABE has now appointed the researchers who will carry out its investigation into racial discrimination in architecture. The report's findings are expected to be published in June.
For an analysis of the government's Higher Education White Paper, and its impact on schools of architecture, see page 10