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Architecture graduates are prepared for the turbulence ahead

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No graduate is better prepared for the turbulence ahead than an architecture graduate, says Bob Sheil 

For higher education in the UK, all EU and international staff, students and partners are vital. Knowledge and talent have no boundaries, but thinking you can achieve more through isolation and exclusion is madness. No one seemed to know what Brexit meant before the referendum – or after. For many of the 52 per cent, their vote was a cry for help: fed up with rising inequality, they made their point in a spectacular fashion. And the 48 per cent may dislike the result, but must not allow political or economic extremists from either camp to exploit it.

Architecture education is not immune to what lies ahead but, when I look at the summer shows, I see the inspiring resilience of thousands of emerging graduates who have invested the prime of their youth exploring perpetual uncertainty, its potential for positive transformation and its consequences. If their education has nurtured their intelligence, talents and capabilities, no graduate is better prepared for the turbulence ahead than an architecture graduate.

The networks linking us span the electorate. Let’s open these to greater public access and exchange; we need to promote and inform the vast range of work our staff and students do to explore the issues this vote has exposed as the real agenda. We must share the privileges we have in education with those deprived of its riches. Education is transformative – and architecture education is one of the most powerful and transformative agencies there is.

Bob Sheil, director, Bartlett School of Architecture

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