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Students press the RIBA for dramatic education revamp

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Student leaders have called for a radical overhaul of architectural education and an end to the goal of educating architects to be 'generalists' and sole practitioners. Nick Hayhurst and Beth Kay, the leaders of Archaos, the national students architectural society, want increased specialisation during Part 2 and for the RIBA to recognise Part 2 courses on topics such as sustainability, urban design, social housing and contract administration.

'Parts 2 and 3 are regulated by the notion that the student is going to become a sole practitioner, 'Hayhurst said.

'But instead of focusing on the creation of the architectgeneralist, education should allow people to enter the profession and not have a strong sense of generalist practice.' The leaders set out their position in advance of this week's student forum at the RIBA headquarters (see profile on pages 28-29). Hayhurst said his proposed changes will help tackle the oversupply of architects.

The RIBA recommends that only 20 per cent of a Part 2 course is made up of specialisations. But a review of education which starts in December will change this, said RIBA director of education Leonie Milliner. She warned that students who take specialisations have found it difficult to pursue them with work experience placements: 'A lot of students are enthusiastic at Part 2 level but they encounter barriers in finding jobs which count towards Part 3 with these specialisations.'

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