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Can universities help in bridging the skills gap in building conservation surveying?
This paper comes from the author’s deliberation over a question delivered to a RICS Conservation forum, which highlighted a skills shortage in the field of building conservation surveying. It was suggested by Brian Gowthorpe, the forum convener, that implementation of specialist conservation modules by universities might enhance conservation practice knowledge among commercial building surveyors. That raised the question of how effective a single university module might be. The conditions required for such a module to be effective are established. Enquiry-based learning, if delivered in line with current educational research, can effectively change a 48-hour duration taught module into a 12-week-long student-centred project. The latter is deemed to have greater potential effect, allowing a single module to engage a learner to attain levels of advanced skills and knowledge, with learners potentially being stimulated to continue developing beyond the 12-week period. A building conservation module delivered at a UK university to predominantly undergraduate building surveyors is evaluated and, using its academic output and learner perception data, was found to be a potential model for a successful vehicle. This paper’s conclusions acknowledge this and concur with the view that university modules can have a significant impact — albeit not by itself enough to ensure future professional competency — upon the skills shortage if they are creatively delivered, using a learner-centred pedagogy.
The full article is available to institutions that have subscribed to the journal.
Simon Mclean is a Programme Director for Building Surveying at University of Salford, UK.
CitationMclean, Simon (2016, November 1). Can universities help in bridging the skills gap in building conservation surveying?. In the Journal of Building Survey, Appraisal & Valuation, Volume 5, Issue 3.