Challenges in retaining architecture undergraduates for post-graduate studies

  • YEAR
    Awad, Ramsey
    Jupp, Julie
    Roberts, Maria
    2011 Conference Papers
    Design Education


The University of Newcastle is one of the eighteen universities offering architecture
programs in Australia, with programs at both undergraduate (Bachelor of Design Architecture) and
Masters (Master of Architecture) degree levels, and with a student body of 386. Over the past five
years there has been an average 40–50% drop in students who commence the post-graduate degree
after completing the undergraduate degree. Using enrolment data and data from student focus groups,
key issues affecting continuation to the post-graduate degree were identified, which included
dissatisfaction with the course and an inability to secure work locally. Focus groups with staff
developed solutions to address these and other issues. The issues and solutions fell into the following
four categories: curriculum, cultural, industry linkages, and marketing. Based upon this study, a plan
was developed to enable the program structure and its delivery to be refined and to improve the
student experience. While the study is drawn from data compiled from a single source, it provides an
insight into the changing culture of architectural education nationally and the flow-on effect of the
Bachelor/Masters restructuring. It also highlights issues facing regional institutions in the increasingly
urbanised context of architectural education.


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