Birmingham architecture courses seeking overseas accreditation to enhance Malaysian graduates’ employability


Four members of the Board of Architects Malaysia (Lembaga Arkitek Malaysia) have recently conducted a two-day evaluation accreditation event at Birmingham City University’s School of Architecture and Design

Invited by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Philip Plowden, the members’ findings will inform the Board’s decision on whether they will offer accreditations to the University’s BA (Hons) and MArch in Architecture, both of which are already validated by RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects).

The Board of Architects Malaysia is a statutory authority in Malaysia responsible for the enforcement of the country’s Architects Act 1967. Graduates who obtained qualifications in architecture from overseas universities with the Board’s accreditation are eligible to register as a Graduate Architect in the Southeast Asian country. Birmingham City University is the 15th UK university to seek the Board’s recognition.


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Courses with this acknowledgement – and included in the Board’s ‘List of Recognised Architectural Programmes’ – are more attractive to prospective students from Malaysia as it enables them to enjoy the benefits of studying abroad, while, at the same time, further enhances their employability should they decide to return home.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Julian Beer, Associate Dean – International, Professor Annie Lu and Head of School Professor Kevin Singh welcomed the delegation between Monday 23 and Tuesday 23 October.

The visitors also met the course directors, teaching staff and student representatives, and reviewed student work and exhibitions, as well as enjoyed a tour around the School’s state-of-the-art facilities, housed in the University’s £62 million Parkside Building on its City Centre Campus.

Professor Julian Beer, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Birmingham City University, said:

“It was a real pleasure to showcase our School of Architecture and Design to the visitors from the Board of Architects Malaysia.

“Our City Centre Campus has extensive studio and workshop provision and cutting-edge equipment reflecting the broad range of study opportunities on offer. The Parkside Building has been designed to actively promote shared space opportunities for students to engage with others across the University as part of the learning experience.

“We were also able to show our Malaysian visitors our digi.lab, which is used for prototyping and as a learning resource. Here, students can experiment with 3D printing and laser cutting, preparing them to work on our range of larger machines.”


The delegation thanked the University for hosting their visit. Although the result will not be announced until early 2019, positive verbal feedback was shared with staff.

Professor Annie Lu, Associate Dean – International, Birmingham City University, said:

“We have around 1,000 graduates who live in Malaysia and who hold eminent positions in fields as diverse as banking and finance, higher education and government, and in careers where they are making a positive impact on their country.

“Back here in the UK, Malaysian students enrich our campus community immensely. Through groups such as our Malaysian Student Association, our scholars can keep in contact with events at home, but they are also given an opportunity to highlight their unique culture and customs to fellow students and staff around the University and across the city.”

As well as being popular for accountancy, finance and business courses among Malaysian students, Birmingham City University is the UK’s most successful recruiter for art and design in Malaysia, being home to not only Birmingham School of Architecture and Design, but also the new £57 million Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and the School of Fashion and Textiles.

Birmingham City University has also formed valuable partnerships with education providers in Malaysia to deliver courses locally in Interior Architecture and Design, Accounting and the International MBA.

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