A consultation paper on architectural education published last week by the RIBA recommends that students practice more before qualifying as architects.

The paper, which the RIBA calls "a vision for architectural education for the 21st century", is the result of a review of architectural education under way since May 1997 under the chairmanship of architect Sir Colin Stansfield Smith.

The paper suggests that:

  • The interdependence of practice and education be more fully acknowledged
  • Undergraduate studies for a Part 1 qualification comprise a combination of broad-base and core skills, in preparation for postgraduate study
  • Part 2 be turned into a postgraduate qualification, comprising core and specialist skills
  • Part 3 be developed into a second, more rigorous postgraduate qualification, comprising specialist and professional skills
  • The base for architectural education and practice be broadened
  • A fourth layer of architectural education for mid-career professionals be introduced.