Bob Sheil – the Head of one of the world’s most prestigious architecture schools has called for an overhaul of education regarding architecture within the UK. This is following the most recent statistics about the high rate of mental health regarding students.
He also stated that, as well as it creating a toxic environment for students, the qualification system in place for architects is creating barriers for new and upcoming students who are from a variety of background and ethnicities.
He also mentioned that the traditional teachings of architecture are failing to keep up with the changes taking place in certain sectors such as construction and industrial design.
These comments took place after students took a survey stating that 26% of students said they have been or are currently seeking professional and medical help for their mental health. A further percentage said they would need to seek help in the future if they didn’t receive it now or nothing changed.
These mental health issues are arising due to the increasing debt of student loans, insufficient scholarships, low wages and bursaries and long practise hours.
Within the UK, many of the architecture students undergo a minimum of seven year’s education to just quality as an architect. On top of this is the additional fee of £9,000 per year, that doesn’t even begin to cover the cost of rent, food and necessities such as laptops and books.
These students are regularly being asked to work for free in turn for more experience in their chosen field, and whilst volunteer work is great, it’s not all that it’s cracked up to be. There is currently a bill being passed on through parliament to lift the cap on student fees.
These concerns made by Sheil are being looked into by Bartlett and they hope to run a more flexible and diverse system that is better for students and creates little to no stress.