UKZN architecture school worries

2008-03-26 00:00

Serious concerns have been raised around the standards at the University of KZN’s School of Architecture and these have resulted in students leaving to study elsewhere.

Student sources told The Witness that student numbers have dropped due to a lack of facilitators.

Three of the top students abandoned their studies at UKZN and have gone to finish their degrees abroad at the University of Auckland. One of them said that all the staff they considered “good and valuable, have actually left or been fired by the head” of the college.

The students expressed concern at the school’s tenuous validation by the SA Council for the Architectural Profession (Sacap), which has granted conditional validation for the Bachelor of Architectural Studies and Master of Architecture programmes. Progress with respect to the conditions will be monitored in terms of a return visit by the validation board and by professional advisers.

Students said that this was a window period in which the school must “fix itself”, or lose its accreditation.

“What that means is that UKZN Architecture will no longer be recognised internationally.”

Sources close to the school said that the reticence of Sacap to grant unconditional validation was due to a dire lack of staff.

Responding to questions from The Witness, Professor F.N.M. Mazibuko, deputy vice-chancellor and head of Humanities at Howard College Campus, did not directly account for the declining figures of students.

“The School of Architecture, Planning and Housing operates as an academic unit in line with the UKZN statute, transformation and access contexts/frameworks. These contexts/frameworks continue to yield successes and new challenges, which the university and the College of Humanities do not shun to address.”

He said that review processes were undertaken to manage quality and compliances. “The college and the faculty are implementing recommendations made by the Sacap.” But he failed to elaborate on what specific recommendations had been made.

Meanwhile, Ivor Daniel, president of the KZN Institute of Architects, told The Witness that the institute had helped call for the accreditation visit by Sacap after concerns were raised.

“The report they produced found that there was no real leadership at the school and that there was a lack of staff generally.” He said the report asked for a panel of advisers to assist the university under his chairmanship. “We have had preliminary meetings on how we can advise on future needs and objectives.”

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.