On the 18th June 2016 in Sheffield was held an ASN conference on the topic ‘Collaborating across borders’. As a result of the meeting a small manifesto was produced with regards to the topic. The ASN team wants to promote awareness and action upon the following issues:

Manifesto – fairness, flexibility, transparency, equality

  1. Issue: Loose control on the quality of the course – year duration and the intensity of Validation Boards.
  • Proposal: Course validation criteria (independent body). Incorporating year feedback from the student body – direct link between students and the RIBA Validation process.
  1. Issue: Student and staff interaction. There are existing barriers in communication.
  • Proposal: Better student involvement. Better integration between teaching and research.
  1. Issue: Staff contracts.
  • Proposal: Better transparency about teaching and research contracts. Do not separate them. Make sure that staff are available for students to talk to.
  1. Issue: Staff skill set. How to maintain quality control, staff knowledge?
  • Proposal: Pairing senior and junior academic staff.
  1. Issue: How to get students from different backgrounds to mix?
  • Proposal: Encouraging group work elements and modules within the course. Requirement to have a group work? Relating back to practice based environment.
  • Encouraging a more collaborative and less competitive school environment. Group work is hard to assess? Module breakdown between group and individual projects.
  1. Issue: Year Out Visa applications and requirement to have the work experience.
  • Proposal: There needs to be support for a recognized year out course (registered with the university) in order for architecture students to obtain a working visa. Sandwich course model. Bath model?
  1. Issue: Year out and flexibility of recording professional work
  • Proposal: PEDRs and flexibility of recording work before bachelor’s degree. PDP becomes part of the PEDR? Same format – ease of transition.
  1. Issue: Not enough communication skills being taught at university course. Standing up and presenting your work could be quite stressful and is the one point in time that everybody is in the same boat.
  • Proposal: Support for public speaking classes within the first year of education, focus on soft skills and communication.
  1. Issue: Crit model – disenfranchising students (international, language skills, quiet, shy)
  • Proposal: Familiarity with design? Scaling up of presentations (progression of numbers throughout the year). Different peer group to review you.
  1. Issue: Collaboration between universities is very limited and frankly non-existent.
  • Proposal: Introduction of an ‘exchange program’? Universal module? Bilateral agreement between different universities. Twin universities?
  1. Issue: Language requirements? (Coming to the UK, going to another university in Europe?)
  • Proposal: Universities – lower requirements should mean more support. Transparency about the level of language required. Standardised.
  1. Issue: Collaboration and knowledge exchange could be limited – lack of mentoring schemes
  • Proposal: Mentoring schemes within departments should be encouraged.
  1. Issue: Marketing and miss-selling of courses
  • Proposal: Courses need to communicate the differences between different degree programmes. Length of the degree and qualification process required. UCAS – page explaining the difference. BA, BArch, BSc
  1. Issue: Transferability of qualifications – Part 1, 2 etc. – international recognition. Less options for internationals.
  • Proposal: More internationally recognised. Disadvantages international students that do not complete the full qualification process. Explore avenues in recognising the degree.
  1. Issue: Visa – Salary requirements/ Flexible system (illness) / Northern Brain drain (international brain drain) – limiting the vibrancy of the workforce
  • Proposal: The RIBA to top-up salaries? Flexibility of visa extensions / lowering the cap of the salary requirement or having regional specific linked to average earning income? Average of an architecture salary (RIBA Salary Benchmark).
  1. Issue: Humanities are taught from a western perspective.
  • Proposal: Teach from a global perspective.
  1. Issue: PEDR starting point and requirement.
  • Proposal: Start PEDR earlier, more flexible system to complete work experience.
  1. Issue: Over-assessing student courses and visa requirements to pass first time, stress, competition
  • Proposal: Move away from over-assessing – PASS or FAIL system. Medicine model? Portfolio based model.

Quality control: What is a first from one university to another?


  1. Part 1 courses to communicate the differences in BArch BA Bsc etc. and the possible routes and outcomes from such courses especially to international students (E.g. eligibility for sandwich courses)


  1. The brand of RIBA part 1 as a qualification is not internationally recognised everywhere – instances of Thai students and EU students being qualified in some places but not in others.
  2. The global classification of BArch Bsci DipArch are not transferable, and in a global jobs market it often leaves some graduates disadvantaged.


  1. RIBA to create a fund to top up salaries of students not able to meet the salary requirements for visas
  2. FLEXABLE SYSTEM WITH VISAS FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS. The Visa system doesn’t allow for re-sitting etc. which puts much more pressure on students to only pass first time. We’re not robots – it is about learning progression.
  3. Salary top-ups for the rest of the UK: With a visa requirement for a high salary it is forcing international graduates can only find work in London


  1. Humanities should teach a global viewpoint.
  2. Recognise ALL work experience earlier in a part 1 – start PEDR’s early. Helps international students get future work experience.
  3. Move away from the over assessment – it gives greater freedom of exploration, and also encourages students to pitch to their interests within the jobs market rather than seeing the pass / fail.
    1. Additionally the student mental health
    2. Makes it less competitive
    3. Develop yourself rather than compete
  4. The part 1-2-3 system doesn’t fairly reward international students who don’t fully complete the system.

The Challenges of ‘Future Cities’ For Architectural Education and UK Universities

It is time for the next ASN event – The Challenges of ‘Future Cities’ For Architectural Education and UK Universities

It will take place on 3rd of April in Anglia Ruskin University.

We would be really happy to have each school represented and take part in the discussion – what is the role of the architect today and in the ‘Future City’. The scheduled talks will address the criteria for architectural education that is needed to reflect on the challenges of the ‘Future Cities’ and faced by future practitioners.

Although it is the beginning of the Easter break we thoroughly recommend that people take this opportunity to make connections with students around the UK and see Chelmsford.

We are hoping for strong attendance.




Collaborating Across Borders- ASN Sheffield 2016

The University of Sheffield is hosting an ASN Conference where students will discuss the challenges architecture students face in a globalised world.
What are the barriers to international students within the architectural education?

How can students benefit from a Europe-based education?

Cultural differences and language barriers – how do these effect collaboration between students and how to overcome these barriers?


Collaborating Across Borders ASN Sheffield 2016

2015 Student Degree Shows – Full Details

If you have any updates or would like to have your school added, please email info to asn@theasn.org


Kingston University

Dates 30 May – 5 June

Where Kingston University, Knights Park, Grange Road, London

Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design

Dates 26 June – 4 July

Where The Cass, Central House, London


Bartlett School of Architecture

Dates 12 – 26 June

Where Bartlett School of Architecture, 140 Hampstead Road, NW1 2BX


Royal College of Art

Dates 25 June – 5 July

Where Dyson Building, Battersea Campus, Howie Street, SW11 4AY


University of Westminster

Dates 25 June – 5 July

Where 35 Marlyebone Road, NW1 5LS


University of Greenwich

Dates 13 – 28 June

Where 11 Stockwell Street, Greenwich


Architectural Association

Dates 28 June – 18 July

Where AA, Bedford Square


Central St Martins College of Art and Design

Dates 24 – 28 June

Where The Granary Building, 1 Granary Square, N1C 4AA


Welsh School of Architecture

Dates 26 – 28 June

Where Londonnewcastle Project Space, E2 7DP


University of Newcastle

Dates 17 – 24 July

Where Dog Eared Films Studio, 25 – 28 Field Street, London


University of Cambridge

Dates 7 – 9 July

Where The Brewery, London



Mackintosh School of Architecture

Dates 13 – 20 June

Where Bourdon Building, Renfrew Street, Glasgow


Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture

Dates 30 May – 7 June

Where Sculpture Court, 74 Lauriston Place, Edinburgh


Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and the Built Environment

Dates 18 – 24 June

Where Garthdee Road, Aberdeen


University of Strathclyde

Dates 8 June – 19 June

Where Level three, James Weir Building, 75 Montrose Street, Glasgow


University of Dundee

Dates 23 – 31 May

Where Level six, Matthew Building, University of Dundee



University of Newcastle

Dates 13 June – 10 July

Where Newcastle University



Manchester School of Architecture

Dates 13 – 24 June

Where Benzie, Chatham and Grosvenor Buildings, Manchester Metropolitan University’s All Saints Campus


Liverpool School of Art and Design

Dates 29 May – 12 June

Where 2 Duckinfield Street, Liverpool, Merseyside L3 5RD


Liverpool School of Architecture

Dates 26 June

Where Brownlow Hill, Liverpool, Merseyside L69 3BX


University of Central Lancashire

Dates 12 – 20 June

Where Harris and Edward Buildings, University of Central Lancashire, Preston



Sheffield School of Architecture

Dates 19 June – 31 July

Where Floors 16 & 17, Arts Tower, Sheffield


Sheffield Hallam University

Dates 13 – 26 June

Where City Centre Campus, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield


Leeds School of Art, Architecture and Design

Dates 06 June – 12 June

Where City Campus, Leeds, LS1 3HE


Huddersfield School of Art, Design and Architecture

Dates 13 – 25 June

Where University of Huddersfield, Queensgate, Huddersfield



Birmingham School of Architecture

Dates 15 – 20 June

Where Parkside Building, City Centre Campus, Curzon Street, Birmingham



Leicester School of Architecture

Dates 13 – 18 June

Where De Montfort University, Mill Lane, Leicester


Nottingham Trent University

Dates 6 – 12 June

Where Arkwright building, NTU City Site, Nottingham


University of Lincoln

Dates 5 – 19 June

Where School of Architecture and Design, College of Arts, University of Lincoln, Brayford Pool, LN6 7TS



University of the West of England

Dates 4 June

Where Block R, Frenchay Campus, Bristol


Plymouth School of Architecture, Design and Environment

Dates 13 – 24 June

Where Floors 5 & 6, Roland Levinsky Building, Plymouth



Portsmouth School of Architecture

Dates 1 – 5 June

Where Eldon Building, Winston Churchill Avenue


Kent School of Architecture

Dates 1 – 5 June

Where Eldon Building, Winston Churchill Avenue


University of Brighton

Dates 5 – 14 June

Where Circus Street Municipal Market, Brighton, BN2 9QF


Oxford Brookes University

Dates 30 May – 10 June

Where The Glass Tank, Abercrombie Building, OX3 0BP


Canterbury School of Architecture

Dates 30 May – 12 June

Where University for the Creative Arts, Canterbury Campus



Queen’s University of Belfast

Dates 18 – 26 June

Where Architecture Studios, David Keir Building, Stranmillis Road


Belfast School of Architecture

Dates 5 – 12 June

Where Belfast School of Architecture, University of Ulster


Thanks to the Architects Journal for some of the information.

The ASN will be running a morning session at Radical Pedagogies Symposium on 4th June 2015, London, CASS School of Art!

Event's Poster

Event’s Poster

The ASN have been invited by Harriet Harris and Daisy Froud to lead a special ASN student-only morning session focussing upon generating a students manifesto for architectural education.

This is part of the one day symposium they are hosting on the launch of their new book – Radical Pedagogies: Architectural education & the British Tradition.

This manifesto will be used to inform the evening panel debate on future models. The event will be captured in pod-casts, articles, illustrations and a special edition of the Oxford School of Architecture magazine.

Date: Thursday 1st June 2015
Time: 10:30 – 13:00
Venue: CASS, 59-63 Whitechapel High St, E1 7PE London

Places are limited so please confirm your attendance by booking at the link below under the student category:

We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible.  Do spread the word with anyone else you’d like to invite. If you aren’t able to attend the event and would like to contribute, send us an email or tweet @The_ASN