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RIBA publishes results of COVID-19 student survey

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has published findings of its COVID-19 student survey, focusing on how architecture students have been affected by the pandemic.

Architects are, of course, absolutely crucial in the construction supply chain, which is why some of the findings are cause for concern amongst industry chiefs.

Headline findings from the survey, which was completed by 398 architecture students, revealed:

  • 58% of respondents told us that their mental health had deteriorated because of the COVID-19 crisis and 39% said that their physical health had deteriorated. 45% were feeling isolated and 39% were not keeping in touch with their peer group.
  • 10% of students had a job offer at a practice but it was withdrawn, 9% have lost a part-time role and 5% no longer wish to become an architect.
  • 48% worry about being able to get a job as an architect when they complete their studies.
  • 83% stated that online teaching and learning is suitable for only some parts of the curriculum and 81% would be put off applying to a course that’s entirely online. However, 58% feel it is good preparation for the digital future.
  • 25% say that where they live is not adequate for working and 25% also say their equipment is not adequate for the work they need to do.
  • 41% don’t feel they have the money they need to get by and the same amount are worried about their family’s finances.

RIBA Director of Education, David Gloster, said: “The education and training of aspiring architects is crucial to the future of architecture in the UK and around the world. However, the findings of our latest COVID-19 survey paint a concerning picture for architecture students – and those who teach them – demonstrating how much the pandemic has impacted those hoping to enter the profession.

“It is particularly worrying to see the impact COVID-19 has had on the mental and physical health of students, and we encourage those struggling to seek help as needed. At this challenging time, students need our support more than ever.

“While it has been encouraging to see recent government plans to make architecture apprenticeships more accessible, we will continue to call for a re-evaluation of the education process, to make architecture more inclusive post-pandemic.”

SAEMA, (Specialist Access Engineering and Maintenance Association), as the national trade body for the permanent and temporary façade access equipment industry, takes a very keen industry in all elements of the supply chain in the construction industry.

While SAEMA is involved specifically involved in advancing safety through raising the standards in best practice, the latest findings from the survey of architecture students is likely to have an impact on the future of the industry, with knock-on effects for everyone involved in construction. To echo the words of the RIBA Director of Education, a greater emphasis should be placed on supporting students at this difficult time; this will help to secure the next generation of skilled specialists.

Image: Flickr

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