Architect training elevated to international standard with new accreditation
By Freeman ya Ngulu
The Department of Architecture, Planning and Construction at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) has received unconditional accreditation of its programmes in architecture. They are now the SACAP Commonwealth Association of Architects (CAA) Namibia Institute of Architects.
According to a report by the architectural governing body, the Design Thesis is the culmination of many years of study. According to the outline, The Master Design Thesis “aims to guide students to independently resolve complex built-environment problems through applied research and design to a level of understanding expected for professional architects”.
The unconditional validation of the B Arch and B Arch Hons programmes by SACAP; and unconditional validation of the B Arch by the CAA; equates the NUST programmes to schools of architecture in amongst others Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Hong Kong, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Sri Lanka, and the United Kingdom.
In addition, SACAP has recently been mandated to validate universities in the Southern African Region under the Canberra Accord, also signed by National Accreditation Boards of Canada, China, the CAA, South Korea, Mexico and the United States. NUST is the first university to be recommended for validation under this new dispensation, allowing an even wider international recognition of its qualifications for the benefit of students.
Previously, a major milestone in the department’s development was reached in April 2016 when the Namibia Council of Architects and Quantity Surveyors (NCAQS) granted the Bachelor of Architecture (B Arch) and the Bachelor of Architecture Honours (B Arch Hons) programmes unconditional validation for the period 2016 to 2020. The programme validation opened the way for mounting of new programmes, especially the 2-year Master of Architecture (M Arch) that will allow graduates to register as professional architects after passing the requirements for professional registration.
The First Lady, Monica Geingos recently highlighted the enormous work cut out for the architects of the future when she said urban planning will have to accommodate the needs of those people who will arrive in urban areas in the coming decades.
“Improving informal settlements is not just about decent shelter but it’s also about livelihoods. The problems unique to the informal settlements cannot be resolved using conventional ideas, processes, regulations, or laws. If some standards and bylaws need to be adjusted to resolve the needs of the people – let them be adjusted,” she said.