RIBA Hardship Funds 2013-2014

Hayley Russell, Education Projects Coordinator has provided us with the following information to share to you all:

RIBA are now accepting applications to the RIBA Student Hardship Funds for the 2013/14 academic year. Any architecture student (either studying or undertaking practical experience) in hardship or who needs extra financial support, and meets the eligibility criteria, can apply.  Any grant allocated from the RIBA Student Hardship Funds will be allocated from the RIBA Education Fund and the RIBA Walter Parker Bursaries, but for the 2013/14 academic year, the application forms have been merged to make the process easier.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Applicants should be able to prove that they are in financial hardship when applying to the RIBA Student Hardship Funds. The assessors are particularly looking to support students from low income households or where circumstances beyond their control have meant that they are struggling financially.
  • The RIBA Student Hardship Funds are open to students studying an RIBA-validated Part 1 or Part 2 architecture course, or with RIBA candidate status, in the UK.
  • Applicants should have successfully completed the first year of an RIBA-validated Part 1 course in the UK.
  • The student must have been resident in the UK full-time for at least 3 years prior to the start of their first course in architecture.

Grants can be awarded to students while studying or while undertaking or seeking practical experience. To view case studies of previous recipients, please click here.

Application forms and guidance notes can be found at www.architecture.com/hardshipfunds. Last year RIBA allocated over £100,000 from these hardship funds to nearly 100 students across the UK. For more information, please contact hayley.russell@riba.org.


Open for Nominations: #TheASNTwitter50

While the #BDTwitter100 is good, and serves its purpose well, it is generally geared towards the wider industry, and pays only lip-service to students and our needs.

That is why we’ve opened nominations for the 2013 #TheASNTwitter50. Nominate those users you enjoy (dis)agreeing with, find useful during your professional experience or are talking about the issues that concern you the most. These could be architects, students, construction professionals or even your local community group who have supported you through your education.

Send your nominations to @the_ASN using #TheASNTwitter50 by midnight on Friday 29th March (Good Friday), with the aim to have results out by the end of the long weekend. We’ll also compile the top 50 into an easy to follow list.

We’ll try and be as un-subjective as possible, but we’ll try to group them into common themes as they emerge, for example: users talking about part 3 issues, offering technical tutorials or advice, architectural technicians, coders, educators, et cetera.

DE Magazine have kindly offered a year subscription to the users in the overall Top 10.


RIBA Hardship Funds

Hayley Russell, Education Projects Coordinator has provided us with the following information to share to you all. Remember if you are in need, there are funds available so do get in touch with the RIBA.

As you near the middle of the academic year, we know that you might be starting to struggle financially. Don’t forget that the RIBA Education Fund is available throughout the year for students who are suffering financial hardship. Each year the RIBA Education Fund aims to support applicants experiencing hardship that might curtail the fulfilment of their ambition of becoming an architect. The fund works to ensure that opportunities are given to talented students from the widest cross section of society. In the 2011-12 academic year, just under £70,000 was awarded to 84 students enrolled in schools of architecture across the UK on the grounds of financial hardship. Alternatively, the RIBA Walter Parker Bursaries may be appropriate if you are undertaking professional experience. For more information on either please contact hayley.russell@riba.org.

Foreign students must earn £20k to stay

From The Architect’s Journal, 16.2.12 – original: http://goo.gl/N3hlv

Architects have spoken out against tough new immigration rules for foreign students set to come into place ‘within weeks’
By Merlin Fulcher

New Home Office guidance will mean overseas students must earn at least £20,000 a year and work for ‘reputable’, approved outfits to stay in the country after completing their courses.

Currently students may work in the UK for two years after graduating, irrespective of their earnings.

Robert Adam of ADAM Architecture described the shake-up as yet ‘another restriction where decent firms end up having to suffer because of the crooks’.

Complaining that the coalition’s recent changes to immigration rules had made it ‘much more difficult’ for his practice to hire overseas staff, he said: ‘I thought the Conservatives wanted to reduce red tape’.

The Architecture Students Network – which launched this week to replace Archaos – hit out at the move, saying it could have a disproportionate effect on year-out students.

‘Many stay in the UK after completing their Part 1, and with the current economic situation, [it will be hard] to earn in excess of the proposed amount,’ a spokesperson said. ‘Recent data shows an average pay of £17,692 a year for post-Part 1 students.’

The measures could also increase the ‘brain drain’ trend of UK-trained international students setting up practice overseas, they claimed.

‘It’s a shame as the UK should be doing more to encourage graduates not only to stay, but to expand the architectural talent pool in this country.’

Nick Willson of Nick Willson Architects said the £20,000 figure was ‘not too high’ for employing Part 2 graduates, but emphasised the importance of securing a ‘range’ of people from different countries in practice.

He said: ‘We are operating in an international world and don’t want to become too separate from it. China is booming and we need to maintain good links – [UK] education and our excellent brand should be encouraged.’

Immigration minister Damian Green said: ‘It is vital that we continue to attract the brightest and the best international students, but we have to be more selective about who can come here and how long they can stay.

‘In the past, too many students have come to the UK to work rather than study, and this abuse must end.’

Postscript: Comment by David Gloster, RIBA director of education

Whilst any changes to the current situation are likely to have implications, the proposed revisions to the visa regulations will not necessarily be detrimental to the numbers of international students wishing to study in the UK.  The appeal of UK architecture education lies in its exploratory nature, and the high degree of academic flexibility our schools offer their students.  Equally, many major practices operating globally are based in the UK, thus potential employment in UK practice is an added inducement for overseas students to continue to study here

Post part 1 graduates on their year out are not interns; if employed by an RIBA Chartered Practice, they will be in remunerated employment paying at least the National Minimum Wage.  From an immigration standpoint, overseas students on their year out may retain their status as students as work placements are permitted, for which there is no minimum threshold salary requirement set by the UK Border Agency

Research currently being undertaken by the RIBA indicates that there are considerable variations in salaries from region to region, and, in some, salaries are likely to be below the threshold stated for the Tier 2 visa likely to be available for part 2 graduates.  Therefore, there are concerns the proposed changes will affect overseas students.  The RIBA will emphasise this concern, using its research to argue that the immigration salary threshold for post part 2 placements must be in line with norms for remuneration in the profession as a whole.

Architecture Students Network replaces ‘defunct’ Archaos

From The Architect’s Journal, 13.2.12 – original: http://goo.gl/2ngve

The Architecture Students Network (ASN) has replaced Archaos as the main body representing architecture students in the UK
By Merlin Fulcher

Operating as an ‘independent network of student representatives’, the organisation replaces Archaos which was founded in 1999 as a student wing of the RIBA.

The ASN will focus on supporting and promoting architecture student events, ‘harnessing’ student opinion, and engaging with ‘established’ and ‘relevant’ national and international educational organisations.

A statement explained: ‘Building upon the positive work that Archaos has been doing over the last decade, the ASN would like to thank all of the students from Archaos, for their efforts in instigating fairer student working conditions and making a perceivable impact in clarifying information regarding the architectural education system in the UK.’

The ASN will run a series of events this summer in partnership with UK schools and is planning to run an annual ‘Architecture Students Assembly’ where students can meet to discuss educational issues.

Students are invited to attend ASN’s next meeting at the University of Greenwich School of Architecture and ‘represent the opinion of their respective schools at this meeting to contribute in the formation of an exciting new organisation.’