Students and teachers want parity with other European teaching

Landscape students in Bordeaux go on strike
Landscape students in Bordeaux go on strike

Landscape architecture students in Bordeaux, France, are on strike  in support of a petition to allow their studies to take a form that would better integrate them with other French and European courses.

In a petition addressed to Ségolène Royal, France’s minister of ecology and sustainable development, the teachers and students at the institution, known as ENSAPbx, write, ‘We would like to offer our students opportunities in their studies to allow our profession to become what it should be today: a mosaic of plural and colourful talents, gathered around a single purpose but adaptable to the great diversity of our society expectations and to professional practices in the field of landscape.’

The problem, they say, is that legislation is imposing a system on their curriculum that puts it out of step with other institutions across Europe. ‘The current legislation organizing the future certification isolates the landscape architecture training by shelving it into a complex and dated evaluation process through competitive examinations (3 in total) and into a curriculum with its own time structure:  2 year + 3 year frame in total contradiction with the 3 year+2 year frame that is commonly adopted by the French and European higher educational system.

‘We ask through this petition addressed to the 3 trusteeship ministries of the French Landscape Architecture Schools to allow us to fit into the LMD European system:

• By giving the possibility to the students to follow a 5 year course forming an educational entity, in which the selection would not be made through competitive examinations, which make it impossible to have interdisciplinary exchanges between curricula, and that allow them to get certifications and dual-graduation.
• By eventually guaranteeing the evolution towards a 3/5/8 type course built on the main model in higher education that was logically adopted by the Ministry of Culture and Communication for the architecture curriculum.
• By creating, for the schools who request it, a 3 year diploma that would allow the students to follow a dual-course in order to have the possibility to transfer to another domain or special field.’

Both students and teachers have been on strike in Bordeaux, although the teaching staff have returned to work  for the time being, while still supporting the student action. To follow progress, see the campaign’s Facebook page.

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