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Bartlett ranked second best place in world to study architecture

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The Bartlett School of Architecture has come second in new league table of the world’s 100 best places to study architecture

The London-based school was beaten to top spot in the rankings by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston.

Put together by higher education data specialists QS, the table is based on academic reputation, employer reputation and research impact.

Other UK institutions to make the list include the universities of Cambridge, Cardiff, Salford, Newcastle, Sheffield, Oxford Brookes, Nottingham, Bath, Edinburgh, and Liverpool.

Commenting on the rankings, Jeremy Till, head of Central St Martins, said: ‘The fact that it includes a number of schools (i.e. HKPU, Salford) that don’t even have architecture courses suggests that, like many rankings, these are not quite as authoritative as they presume to be.  But as we all know, the only point of rankings is to argue with them when it suits one position, and agree with them when it suits the other.’


Harriet Harriss, principal lecturer in architecture, Oxford Brookes University

‘Despite the popular view that rankings are a wake-up call for us all to work that much harder at being better educators with ever-shrinking resources, the reality is they can distract us from asking a more meaningful question, such as what is the ideal model of architectural education?

‘To answer this question, we need to rethink the ranking criteria. For example, why don’t we rate schools on their commitment to teaching and not just to research excellence? About whether they offer students opportunities for civically engaged learning, to set their own curricula activities or their ability to either find work on graduation or set up their own practices?

‘And whose criteria is it anyway? Frontline educators and end-of-year portfolio immersed students should surely have a say, but so too should practitioners, many of whom are very particular about the schools they are willing to recruit from. And of course, we could always ask the clients.

‘Since the future of architectural education in the UK has recently become more open to possibility, we need to be mindful of the stifling effect that certain kinds of ranking criteria may have on tentative new pedagogic models for architectural education. If we judge ourselves by a too narrow criteria and we risk diminishing one of the greatest assets of all models of architectural education - the ability to set culturally diverse and creatively unique, school specific agendas.’

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