In an article by the Architects' Journal, Tony Fretton is quoted as saying there ought to be fewer architecture schools in the UK, with more difficult entry requirements and a higher failure rate. "There should be a shortage of architects in the UK," he says, "fewer bad architects, fewer good architects".
Citing Switzerland and the Netherlands as countries which do well with just 2 or 3 major architecture schools, he believes that architectural education should be concentrated into just a few schools in order to give students more access to the best tutors.
Read more about Fretton's proposal after the break
Fretton's argument is particularly relevant in the UK right now, as the Architects Registration Board (ARB) is considering a radical change to the process of architectural education. In a separate opinion piece, the AJ's editor Christine Murray says that "the current system is flabby, and, at £9,000 a year for tuition fees, flabby isn’t fair."
She points out that the current education system leaves little opportunity for graduates saying that "too many of these students are simply unemployable." This would certainly seem to support Fretton's argument that we should be producing fewer architecture graduates in the first place.
However, it is interesting to note that in many developing countries, such as Thailand, there is a severe shortage of architecture graduates, as revealed by this article in The Nation. Perhaps one response to the current crisis in UK architectural education is to better prepare graduates to find work abroad (and, judging by the popularity of our post "The 9 Best Countries for Architects to Find Work," many graduates are already making this leap).
Should there be fewer architects? More architects abroad? Let us know what you think in the comments below...