Source: Cracow University of Technology
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Architectural education redefined: Cracow University of Technology’s programme puts value and employability first

The demand for architects is at a high. According to the US Bureau of Labour Statistics, the employment of architects is projected to grow 5% from 2022 to 2032, with an average of around 8,200 openings each year and a median annual wage of US$93,310 in May 2023. Whether you’re planning to enter or advance your career in this dynamic field, you’re set to seize the robust opportunities of this field with a globally recognised bachelor’s or master’s degree from Cracow University of Technology.

Located in Kraków, Poland, the Faculty of Architecture offers the only programme in Poland (and one of just 11 in Europe) that has been validated by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). Bachelor’s and master’s graduates here receive RIBA Part 1 and Part 2 qualifications, respectively.

What further sets the faculty apart is how it’s redefining architectural education through the CRACOVIA approach. This acronym stands for Creative, Rational, Avant-garde, Contemporary, Operative, Vital, and Innovative Architecture (CRACOVIA). As a discipline that drives humanity’s understanding of space, buildings and surroundings forward, it has great potential to create a better world. “The aim of the course is to broaden awareness of shared responsibility for spatial order and the quality of our surroundings on any scale – from interior to urban. Integrated design modules — such as ‘Continuity of residential city fabric’ and ‘Design for conservation’ — allow students to work with a range of fields, aspects and problems of the architectural profession,” says Associate Professor Anna Franta, Deputy Dean for International Cooperation and Studies in English.

This is a programme with global engagement and impact. The faculty has a growing cohort of international students and visiting professors, extensive study abroad programmes, assignments that tackle design challenges beyond Poland, and more. “Our flagship exchange programme with the University of Tennessee enables the selected outgoing CUT students to extend their stay in the US to complete their compulsory, one-semester internship in an architectural office,” says Bartłomiej Homiński, departmental coordinator of student exchange under bilateral agreements with foreign universities.

Source: Cracow University of Technology

Source: Cracow University of Technology

“Our partner, the University of Tennessee, further supports it by encouraging the students to take part in the Career Days and assisting them with the necessary paperwork.”

This three-semester programme covers the preservation of monuments, landscape architecture and planning in the countryside, the building of construction systems, ecology and environmental protection, and the general history of art and culture in contemporary urban design as well. “I feel that the course has given me the skills, knowledge, and competence to enter the industry. In particular, the programme really pushes students to understand their own abilities and talents,” says student Khushall Rughoobur from Mauritius. “Furthermore, the opportunity to experience many new techniques within the programme is the most valuable.”

The programme is experiential. A new platform between the university and the National Chamber of Polish Architects connects students with architecture firms where they can complete a compulsory internship. “The internship is aimed at acquainting students with the issues of the design process under the supervision of a person with a full architectural design licence and professional experience acquired in design and construction activities (a member of the National Chamber of Architects) based on the infrastructure of an office or an architectural studio,” says prof. Franta.

Meanwhile, a wide range of workshops, summer schools, and extra-curricular activities provide more hands-on experience and understanding of the profession while still studying at CUT.

Source: Pexels

Source: Pexels

Opportunities abound abroad as well. Apart from the chance to study at European universities (through the Erasmus programme), CUT Architecture students can choose from 14 colleges in Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, and the US. “CUT cooperates with partner universities from all over the world, concluding almost 170 bilateral agreements with them. As a result, every year, about 250 of our students have the opportunity to go to a country of their choice, and about 200 students from abroad have the opportunity to study at Cracow University of Technology,” adds prof. Franta.

 As a CUT student, however, there’s no need to venture far to see examples of world-class heritage buildings. It’s located in a UNESCO-listed city, a fitting location that merges the values and ethics imparted by the programme with its surroundings to shape the skills, knowledge, and competence needed by a student to excel in both their life and career. “Spending almost six years in Cracow really shaped my own understanding, growth, and experience,” Rughoobur says. “Cracow has given me a different perspective on life which I would probably never experience back at home.”

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