Terra Firma Landscape Architects

30 years and still going strong!

Blog post   •   Mar 29, 2012 09:53 BST

30 years on since our graduation from Leeds, a dozen of us went back to the city for a reunion meal last Friday evening. It may only represent a quarter of all those,  who at one time or other,  shared our year over the five we were there but it was excellent to see everyone and looking so well. The nature of the course was such that it was bound to make lifelong bonds I guess and its proved to be so. Good to note that over half are still in the profession and enjoying it, most running succesful practices, a couple in academia and others in very worthwhile allied environmental fields.

The Midnight Bell , Leeds, 23 March 2012

Along with an earlier visit by two of us to the current Design School (and just great to see it in the new building and doing well) to meet up with some of the staff we best knew and know, conversation was bound to reflect on the current and future well-being of Landscape Architecture education.

Lionel with Chris Royffe, Edwin Knighton, Fleure Gething and Colin Treen - all staff past and present of the Landscape Architecture School at Leeds.

It was good to hear course numbers have been holding and that graduates have managed to achieve an employment rate between 80-90% in spite of the recession. However there are very real fears on the horizon of what the imminent rise in student fees is going to do to numbers.


Broadcasting Place, Leeds; current location of the Landscape School atop of the School for Art, Architecture and Design.

Martin from our office just happened to be at a meeting of the LI education policy committee the same day and it was heartening to since hear him report that though there are fears on numbers, the signs from applications are indicating that it should not be drastic. I found it interesting to learn that there have been well over 500 entrants (from a far larger pool of applicants) each of the last 4 years and that 30% come with over 360 UCAS points (equivalent of 3 grade As) so both numbers and standards do not appear to have dropped off to date. However, all of us in the profession do need to be aware the threats to its future well-being,  if courses do end up struggling.

I would hate if the opportunities that were afforded to me and my happy colleagues in studying for and entering this wonderful field 30 years ago, were not available to current and future generations of school leavers. Continue