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Hull College to bail students out after qualification is revoked mid-course

Photo © peter church (cc by sa:2.0)
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Hull College has been forced to bail students out after the prescription of both its troubled architecture courses was revoked while students were still midway through their studies

The Architects Registration Board (ARB) announced on Friday (27 September) it would no longer prescribe Hull’s Part 1 and Part 2 courses at the end of next month.

The East Yorkshire college, which had announced it planned to scrap the courses earlier this year, has said it will pay for its 10 Part 1 students who had not yet graduated to take the prescription exam.

The standard cost of the exam for an individual is £1,671, though Hull College said it was still finalising the figures with the regulator.

The ARB said it took the rare decision to revoke the courses after deciding it no longer had confidence that the institution had adequate resources to deliver the qualifications in a way that met its criteria.

Emma Matthews, the body’s head of qualifications and governance said: ’Such decisions are undertaken after careful consideration of the issues and are not made lightly.

’Revocations are rare. However, we take our duty to ensure standards are maintained very seriously and are willing to make such decisions when necessary to ensure trust is maintained in the profession.’

The ARB also said students in the 2019 graduating cohort were individually of a ‘high standard’ with no pass at less than an upper second.

Hull decided to shut down the building design courses after the RIBA took the decision in March to remove its validation of one of them and ended plans to support the other.

The committee acted in line with recommendations made by the RIBA’s visiting board, which highlighted a number of major issues after a trip to Hull in December. 

For both the BA and MArch courses, ‘serious concerns’ were raised regarding failure to deliver graduate attributes, meet required academic standards and provide an appropriate-quality student experience. 

However, the college’s head of architecture, Richard Wright, said the school would be relaunching its MArch programme in January and intended to reapply for ARB prescription ‘in the near future’. 

The high standard of work achieved in the last academic year is a consequence of the changes and new appointments instigated by the college

He said: ‘The School of Architecture is now under new management and has endeavoured to correct the concerns outlined by the ARB in its recent assessment. The high standard of work achieved in the last academic year, as commented on by ARB, is a consequence of the changes and new appointments instigated by the college.’

According to Wright, the new course will be set up after achieving developmental consent with the University of Hull.

The previous courses were validated by The Open University.

An architecture programme was first established in Hull back in 1930, but it was renamed and transferred to the University of Lincoln’s Brayford Campus in 2003. Then, in 2010, Hull College’s Hull School of Art and Design – established in 1861 – set up an architecture degree course, cited at the time as ‘effectively a resurrection of the Hull School of Architecture degree’.

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Readers' comments (3)

  • Good to see standards maintained and that the ARB has teeth and claws. Quality has to decline in the face of aggressive marketisation of the sector, and expansion to 50% of the population, rather than a 5-10% elite, as in the good old days. Ultimately this could lead to unsafe buildings, if not checked with the closure of more substandard courses and schools. Full marks to ARB and RIBA here!

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  • Tell us who you are.

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  • Yawn...

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