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We must make career paths more flexible

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Responding to comments made on this page recently (AJ 7.11.02), I could not agree more that in the past architects from low income families could become architects. Even the great Norman Foster who did not possess A levels but had artistic flair came from a working-class background in Manchester. But Mr Lockhart should also take into account that first-time students who have recently left high school now have to pay large tuition fees of £1,050 each year.

During their studies, students can expect to run up bills each year in excess of £3,000 on living costs alone. Even when you counter that with part-time jobs and a student loan, there is not enough money without having generous parents.

Mr Lockhart is correct that I should have studied architecture in the first place and with hindsight I would have. But should that stop me and others from progressing further without starting architectural studies all over again?

I would not seek to deregulate the ARB or RIBA as they are and have been very important bodies for the whole of the profession. The point really as stated by Mr Lockhart is that technologists should be able to qualify as architects without having to perform the full seven year training process. Technologists are recognised in their own right, but surely there should be options other than the conventional routes for people to transfer between career paths?

Lee Machell, architectural technology student, Leeds Metropolitan University

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