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LSA Announces New Academic Partnership with the University of Liverpool

With ambitious plans for growth, the LSA has forged a new academic partnership with the University of Liverpool

After six years of academic partnership with London Metropolitan University (London Met), the London School of Architecture (LSA) will now begin a new partnership with the University of Liverpool (UoL) for the next stage of its development. The LSA – founded in 2015 to be a collective force for change – has two fundamental objectives: to transform access to and diversity in the architectural and built environment professions; and to generate design innovations that will deliver more sustainable lives and contribute to reaching environmental targets.

London Met was the School’s first validating partner for the Diploma in Professional Practice in October 2015, and the University played a key role in helping the school to upgrade its Part II qualification to the MArch in Designing Architecture in 2019, professionally recognised by the Architects Registration Board (ARB) and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). London Met has provided our students with vital infrastructure for a rounded student experience, including access to libraries and information services, pastoral and welfare support, and membership of an expanded academic community.

With plans for the school to scale and diversify its offering, however, both parties have recognised the need for a different kind of academic partnership. The LSA extends its profound thanks to the University for its support in delivering our innovative programme to the highest standards.

Professor Christian Frost, Head of Architecture at the School of Art, Architecture and Design, London Metropolitan University reflected:

‘London Met has enjoyed a fruitful and creative partnership with the London School of Architecture since 2015. Over the years, our staff have been pleased to contribute to the School’s “Design Think Tank” reviews, provide guidance and support the development of their assessment processes, and visit the various homes of the LSA: from “Second Home” to Somerset House, Mare Street, and now Orsman Road. We hope to stay in touch and wish them well going forward.’

The LSA’s pioneering MArch in Designing Architecture has now been formally validated by the University of Liverpool’s Collaborative Provision Committee and the new partnership was signed off by the University’s Board on 30 July 2021.

All new incoming students for the academic year of 2021-22 have been consulted and informed of the change in validating partner. The LSA has also consulted with current students inviting feedback and discussion regarding the change in awarding partner.

The partnership with Liverpool has been brokered by the School of Architecture, led by Head of School, Prof Soumyen Bandyopadhyay, and Lecturer in Architecture, Johanna Muszbek, who will serve as the designated Link Tutor between the two schools. A large school with international reach, UoL will be an active partner in supporting the LSA’s growth and diversification over the coming years.

The LSA’s premises at 6 Orsman Road will become a new base for UoL in London, developing a number of programmes and projects initiated at UoL’s London Campus which closed its doors at the end of the last academic year. An MSc in Global Housing, led by Johanna Muszbek, is planned for launch in the academic year 2022-23, offering the opportunity for practitioners and recent graduates drawn from an international pool to conduct in-depth study and research into housing design, and the LSA will work closely with Liverpool to embed this work into its own academic programme. Other projects which will support the LSA’s two fundamental charitable objectives – of widening access and participation to a career in the built environment, and to deploy design as a transformative force to enable people living in cities to experience more fulfilled and sustainable lives – will be developed in due course.

Dr Neal Shasore, Head of School/CEO at the LSA, writes:

‘I’m hugely excited about the possibilities this new and dynamic partnership with the University of Liverpool will open up. Liverpool was the pioneering redbrick university in the nineteenth century – a civic institution fundamentally; it is this foundational ambition that the LSA seeks to further in a twenty-first century context. We look forward to a rich and ambitious reciprocal partnership over the coming years, one that will further enable our students to flourish in their studies.’

Prof Soumyen Bandyopadhyay, Head of the School of Architecture, University of Liverpool, states:

‘The possibility of connecting the two institutions, we felt, was an extraordinary opportunity for architectural education in the UK and internationally. We at the Liverpool School of Architecture are excited to collaborate with the London School of Architecture in defining new pathways of architectural education for the decades to come. We look forward to creating new collaborative programmes and exploring opportunities for sharing the pedagogic and research expertise of the two institutions. Our aim is to expand the horizon of architectural education and make it relevant.’

The new academic partnership will be operational from the start of the new academic year (6 September 2021).