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Who are we meeting with?

The Farrell Review believes in encouraging early access to the built environment and design through education. Creating opportunities for young people to engage with design and the built environment can not only inspire UK students to become architects, but also help them develop a respect and desire for good design whatever their profession. For those students who do wish to enter the architecture and built environment sector, we are looking at the barriers to entry. The average cost of university architecture programs increased 260% from 2011 to 2012, corresponding with a 10% drop in applications to higher education architecture programs.

Our week began with a meeting with members of the Farrell Review advisory panel, including Victoria Thornton, from Open City, Lucy Musgrave, from Publica and architect Jim Eyre. The meeting focussed on early educational experiences and considered existing and potential outreach efforts. Joint partnerships between schools, the voluntary sector and the private sector offer an important opportunity to augment existing educational capacity. Initiatives, such as Open City’s Schools Programmes, offer a model for the type of work that the Farrell Review would like to encourage.

The week is closing with a presentation by Terry at the conference of the Standing Committee of the Heads of Schools of Architecture (SCHOSA) at which he will preview some of the Farrell Review’s ideas on education.

What are we reading?

To get a sense of the current state of higher educational affairs, we’ve been reading Pathways and Gateways: The structure and regulation of architectural education a recently released report prepared by the UK Architectural Education Review Group. The report generated attention this spring (click here for AJ and here for BD articles) and offers several recommendations for reforming the higher educational experience. The report cites an interesting article by the review group chair, Prof. Alex Wright, ‘Survival of the Species: the financial habitat of, and evolutionary pressures on, English architectural education,’ which considers the danger of increasing student debt.

What are we watching?

With advancing global agendas, UK educational institutions universities are becoming a key tool for exporting national knowledge and engaging with ideas, people, and organisations world-wide. We spent some time this week looking at some of the institutions expanding abroad. The video below highlights UCL’s reasoning for expanding to Qatar.

Title photo credit: Architecture Books by Sarah Barker, used under a Creative Commons License

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