Cambridge University faces a barrage of criticism from industry figures as it announces plans to close its architecture department.

Britain’s leading architects have united to try and stop the proposed closure of Cambridge University’s department of architecture. The department, which the illustrious group say has “produced architects, academic teachers and writers of the greatest distinction and originality”, has been ear-marked for closure after failing to meet the university’s research standards in 2001 and 2003.

The group is headed by Cambridge alumnus Sir Richard MacCormac, and includes Lord Norman Foster and Lord Richard Rogers. The group says the difficulties the department has faced are “wholly attributable to the distortions imposed on British architectural schools by the Research Assessment Exercise”.