The RIBA needs to collaborate with schools of architecture to ensure Brexit doesn’t affect the talent coming from UK schools, say RIBA presidential ambassadors for young architects Albena Atanassova and Vinesh Pomal
It is too early to know how architectural education will be affected by Brexit, as the sense of uncertainty surrounding the timing and extent of separation continues.
British architectural education is in the midst of the RIBA Education Review, with a great deal of proposals based on the European directive of recognising EU-qualified architects, as well as aligning the years of study to EU models. There is no reason why the UK would not carry on in this direction, unless there is scope for allowing for greater flexibility and improving pathways into education – especially given that the UK government has just increased tuition fees again. It will be interesting to see what the ARB says – so far its response to the proposed changes has been vague, but ultimately its decision takes precedence.
We must not forget that as a creative profession, diversity and access for UK students to EU universities is even more valuable when tuition fees are rising and maintenance grants are being scrapped. The Erasmus scheme is an important opportunity for students and staff to experience alternative teaching styles and explore European cities.
With all this in mind, the RIBA needs to continue to support its student members. We are already reviewing how the future of the membership can benefit younger generations, as well as reviewing RIBA Council representation. This is an opportunity for the institute and wider profession to collaborate more with other institutes to ensure Brexit doesn’t affect the talent coming from UK schools and, in turn, the quality of British design.
We need to come together as a profession if we’re to find a good solution to a very tricky situation.
Albena Atanassova is an architectural assistant at Scott Brownrigg and Vinesh Pomal is an architect at Levitt Bernstein, both are RIBA presidential ambassadors for young architects