Image by Peter Bennetts
As one of the most highly urbanised places in the world, Australia continues to show high demand for urban planning and better systems for public transport, energy, air, and water. Because of that, the architecture industry in Australia as a whole is steadily growing. The growing industry is then leading to the advancement of architectural studies in Australia.
Top Place for Architectural Studies
In 2015, Australian universities were ranked among the top educational institutions for architecture, beating a few Ivy League schools, according to the QS World University Rankings. Three Australian universities were listed in the Top 25, while eleven were listed in the Top 100.
The University of Melbourne is Australia’s top ranked architecture school and listed as the 15th best architecture school worldwide. The University of Sydney ranked just lower at 17, and the University of New South Wales came in 22.
Also listed in the Top 100 worldwide were RMIT University, the University of Queensland, the University of Newcastle, Monash University, Curtin University, Griffith University, Queensland University of Technology, and the University of South Australia.
Growing Student Body for Building Courses
According to the Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre, 2016 brings an increase in first-round offers to undergraduate architecture and building related courses. Admissions for architecture and building majors as a whole went up by as much as 13% from last year.
Most of this year’s architectural degree offers are from the University of Melbourne, at 489 slots, which is less compared to last year’s 509. However, Monash University increased their offers this year, from 118 to 123.
Interior architecture and landscape architecture degrees increased in number of enrolment places. There are more interior architecture offerings this year at 114 from 48, and landscape architecture places went up to 58 from 46.
Although architecture degree offerings throughout Victoria slightly declined overall, courses related to building design, construction and surveying increased dramatically. TAFE’s building related courses have more places this year at 994, from 665 in 2015.
Launching of Programs for Other Fields of Architectural Studies
The Master of Urban Renewal and Housing degree from the University of South Wales will open this year. As the first tertiary program in Australia to focus on urban renewal and housing, this postgraduate degree was designed to cater to Sydney’s increasing trend of high-density living and property leasing.
The university’s City Futures Research Centre believes that housing will grow denser in the coming decades as urbanism’s hold on Australia strengthens. “Urban renewal is going to be the major challenge facing Australia’s metropolitan areas for the foreseeable future,” according to City Futures Research Centre associate director Hal Pawson. “(Urban renewal) is becoming increasingly central to the entire city planning agenda.”
Impact on the Industry
Australia is a rapidly growing society, in terms of population and urban needs. With more focus on put on research and education for architecture, schools encourage architectural innovation, which is not only welcome but now in demand. There is an urgent need for improving Australia’s housing policies, home financing, and city equity and wellbeing. Advancements in education may help spark ideas for implementations of urban regeneration projects, and initiatives to get the community involved.