The impact of RICS education reform on building surveying

Article English OPEN
Wilkinson, S ; Hoxley, M (2005)

Purpose - It is of major concern to the Surveying profession that the seven years between 1994 and 2001, witnessed a decline in the numbers of UK student surveyors of nearly 50%. This was significant, especially when considered in the context of rising student numbers overall. Of equal concern, and set against the backdrop of a general move in education and the workplace to widen participation, was the reduction in applications from females, some 50% of the workforce. Furthermore demand for surveyors was high, and practices found it difficult to recruit graduate surveyors. The factors leading to low uptake in the profession were; low starting graduate salaries; lack of publicity and awareness of surveying as a career option, and a poor public image. The RICS decided to implement an education policy with the aim of increasing graduate quality. The policy adopted stated that 75% of each student cohort was to have an average of 17 A level points or 230 UCAS points for entry on undergraduate courses. These changes were introduced in UK Universities from September 2001. A number of Universities saw their professionally accredited courses withdrawn as the RICS imposed academic entry standards and research output based on the UK Government’s Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) criteria on which to base their ‘partnership’ relationships. Simultaneously there has been the development of post-graduate degree courses in surveying in the UK to attract noncognate degree holders into the profession on a fast track basis. The policy has generated a considerable amount of debate and very strong views within academia and also within the profession as to whether the policy was appropriate, and likely to succeed.
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