Rationale

In the strong internationalisation dynamics of our era, architecture as spatial manifestation of our life is nowadays experiencing a radical worldwide transformation and redefinition of its referential values, principles and conceptions. The profile of the contemporary architect is not any more an agreed one and its re-definition constitutes a central issue of all local and international professional associations, educational institutions and governmental bodies. Architectural education in this extremely fast changing and growing mobility world becomes a critical international issue.

Schools of architecture have to approach this issue collectively and develop a creative environment of an effective academic dialogue, for this purpose, which will permit us to understand the others better and consequently to understand ourselves better. The European Higher (Architectural) Education Area cannot be an introverted environment but a dynamic field of energy interacting with its broader international milieu. The mobility promoted by the European Policies is considered as a decisive factor for the development of the quality and the competitiveness of our higher Architectural Education. Mobility and quality have to closely liaised in order to have a significant development of the social offer of our higher education institutions. If mobility is a question related to the technical part of the development of higher education, the quality is a purely academic issue. It is under the responsibility of higher education institutions to define and to develop collectively. In the case of architectural education it is the responsibility of the higher architectural education institutions to define what is quality in architectural education in our even more internationalised and fast changing world and under which conditions and measures we can assure it.

This is why the dialogue with the significant non-European architectural education environments is fundamental to assuring the necessary bridges and roads for the exchange of ideas, information and educational attitudes and cultures, about quality and quality assurance for an architectural education addressed to an internationalised architectural professional practice. In the internationalised economy of our times, the competition of markets is directly translated into competition of competences corresponding to the degrees delivered by schools in architecture. This is why the question of quality remains in the centre of the strategic planning of the schools of architecture. This is why schools of architecture today imperatively want to know about the quality of education offered by their ‘competitors’. This is why the question of quality has to be investigated collectively in order to assure better results in their responsibility to educate architects.