Advert for the airline Air France published in issue 98 of Colombian architecture journal Proa, Bogotá, March 1968.
Últimos posts
Tema - Academic Training
Tema - Architect and Society
Tema - Profession
manuel saga
1

Or bachelor’s degrees in the “Basics of Architecture”. The name of the degree varies from one university to another.

2

There exists the possibility of doing the master’s degree at a school of architecture different from the one which validated the degree. This is not common in cases of validation, but it is possible.

Validating Architecture Degrees from Latin America in Spain: Three Challenges (II)

Advert for the airline Air France published in issue 98 of Colombian architecture journal Proa, Bogotá, March 1968.

This is the second in a series of articles addressing the three main challenges facing Latin American architects when validating their university degrees in Spain. The first is deciding what they want to use the validated qualification for and choosing the right moment to validate. Once the “why” and the “when” have been dealt with, they will have to think about the “how”.

 

Challenge number two: finding out how to validate the degree.

The process of validation has changed over time. Actually, validation itself is only a relatively recent concept in Spain: it was not regulated, by Royal Decree, until 1987. In those days, many of the first foreign architects who were required to validate their academic qualifications had already been working in Spain for years without having needed to.

 

At that time, validation involved analysing the syllabus studied at the issuing university in order to identify what content was missing and correlate it with subjects studied in the Spanish system. Four or five technical subjects were often required. After passing examinations in those subjects, candidates had to submit a conventional thesis project for evaluation by a specially created board of examiners.

 

Since the Bologna Process came into effect less than ten years ago, a distinction is now drawn between validation and habilitation. Supplementary subject matter is still required, but the subjects studied now act as a pre-requisite for recognising Latin American diplomas in architecture as Spanish bachelors’ degrees in Architectural Studies. 1 The subjects that need to be studied may vary from one candidate to another. Great differences exist between architectural pensums in different regions of Latin America, and even within the same country, and so each case is examined separately. Furthermore, two architects graduating from the same university may have followed considerably dissimilar training syllabuses depending on when they studied and what subject options they chose.

 

Validation of the degree means receiving an official university qualification but it does not authorise an architect to sign off on projects. For that, once their degree has been validated, candidates have to complete an enabling master’s degree, just like any Spanish student.2  The total time investment is one or two terms to validate the original degree plus one academic year of full-time study to complete the master’s degree.

 

It’s important to add that although Spanish enabling master’s degrees are qualifications recognised by the EU, their usability outside Spain is not always automatic. Sometimes a new validation is required which, while it does not usually involve additional studying, does entail paperwork. The EU’s Internal Market Information System (IMI) provides useful information about which Spanish qualifications are already recognised and are easiest to use at Community level.

 

One possible alternative to the process described above is to have the qualification in architecture recognised through Spain’s Ministry of Education. This type of recognition, however, only constitutes a partial solution. It certifies possession of a university degree and facilitates access to certain competitive examinations and work positions, but it doesn’t authorise the candidate to sign off on projects or give access to the enabling master’s degree. It’s important to bear this in mind to avoid wasting time, money, and energy.

 

(To be continued. The next article will look at challenge number three.)

 

 This article is based on interviews with different architects. These include: Rafael de Lacour, subdirector of the Granada University School of Architecture (ETSA  – UGR) and coordinator of that school’s enabling Master’s Degree in Architecture; Raquel Martínez, coordinator of the undergraduate degree in the Basics of Architecture at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos; Johanna Díaz, a Colombian architect with a degree in Architecture from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia validated in Spain, and currently a student on the ETSA-UGR enabling master’s degree course; Olga Sánchez, a Venezuelan architect who graduated from the Universidad de Los Andes in Mérida, and whose degree in Architecture was validated by the UGR; Paz Molinari, an Argentinian architect who graduated from the Universidad de Buenos Aires and whose qualifications were validated at the Madrid Polytechnic School of Architecture (ETSA  – UPM); María Antonieta Loaiza, a Venezuelan architect who graduated from the Universidad Central de Venezuela and whose qualifications were validated at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia School of Architecture (ETSA  – UPC); and Alejandro Henríquez, a Colombian architect who graduated from the Universidad de Los Andes and has now been working professionally in Barcelona for 15 years.

Links 
Web page of the European Union’s Internal Market Information System.
Web page of the old validation process at the University School of Architecture, Barcelona (ETSAB), in force until 2017.

Text translated by Andrew V.Taylor
Notas de página
1

Or bachelor’s degrees in the “Basics of Architecture”. The name of the degree varies from one university to another.

2

There exists the possibility of doing the master’s degree at a school of architecture different from the one which validated the degree. This is not common in cases of validation, but it is possible.

Autor:
Arquitecto, Investigador. Investigador pre-doctoral en el programa Arquitectura. Historia y Proyecto del Politécnico de Turín. Ex Profesor de la Universidad de Los Andes, Colombia. Colaborador de Historia National Geographic. Fundador de blogURBS y URBS Revista de Estudios Urbanos y Ciencias Sociales . Antiguo corresponsal de La Ciudad Viva .

Deja un comentario

Tu correo no se va a publicar.

*

Últimos posts