UK-India Perspectives on Planning and Architecture Education
School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering

UK-India Perspectives on Planning and Architecture Education


The increasing globalised context for higher education poses a range of opportunities and challenges for individual institutions and the delivery of professional education. The built environment disciplines, particularly planning and architecture have enormous potential to benefit from increased international links which can result in increased student and staff mobility and wider educational benefits such as of curricula enrichment, enhancement of learning experiences and pedagogical innovation. Yet, despite the emergence of growing global discursive communities based on the built environment professions, the level of pedagogical debate and exchange between institutions in different cultural and geographic contexts has been disappointingly low. 

The India-UK nexus is a particularly interesting one in this context; both have vastly different professional and education-focused challenges with varying resource availability, yet have the potential for robust institutional partnerships based on lasting cultural links, shared models of higher education and an ability to support learning through the medium of the English language. 

In this context, a two-day seminar was held in Delhi in August 2010, bringing together academics and students from Queen’s University Belfast (QUB), one the UK’s leading universities, with a range of Indian partners. This provided an opportunity to engage in pedagogical reflection on the current challenges to built environment education, to consolidate ongoing institutional relationships and to help disseminate these experiences of international partnerships to a broader UK and Indian audience.

The aims of the seminar were:

  • To foster trans-cultural reflection on the nature of planning and architectural education in an increasing globalised professional and educational context.
  • To promote pedagogical engagement as part of universities’ internationalisation strategies for education in the built environment.
  • To engage students in the understanding of the cultural and pedagogical contexts for planning and architectural education in UK and India.
  • To agree specific actions, such as future joint projects and collaboration, with the aim of establishing an UK-Indian planning and architecture forum.

This seminar was organised by the School of Planning and Architecture in Delhi and the Institute of Spatial and Environmental Planning, Queen’s University Belfast (QUB), one the UK’s leading universities. It has been financially supported by the innovative projects fund of the Centre of Education in Built Environment (CEBE). 

The seminar was based around three key themes:

  • The fostering of a common understanding of the challenges to built environment education in the UK and India. [link to theme in programme]
  • A sharing of experience in specific issues in planning and architectural education, such as studio culture, live projects, professional skills, research-led teaching and the identification of issues of mutual concern. [link to theme in programme]
  • The development of a forum for ongoing discussion and sharing of good practice in the pedagogy of the built environment. [link to theme in programme]

It is hoped that this event will form the start of an ongoing relationship between UK and Indian researchers and it is hoped to update this via this website.

For more information contact the seminar organisers:

Prof. N. Sridharan
Dr. Geraint Ellis