Many facilities management professionals originally graduated from a building surveying course. The high referral rate of the professional body pre‐qualification assessment process for building surveyors and other criticisms of graduates have led many to question whether building surveying education is fit for purpose. This paper seeks to address these issues.
Previous research on this subject has concentrated on obtaining the views of course providers and employers. The approach adopted for this study has been an on‐line survey of recent UK building surveying graduates. A 30 per cent response rate resulted in 806 graduates undertaking the survey.
Most graduates had studied a full‐time undergraduate course, three‐quarters had gained some form of placement or work‐experience during their studies, the mode of the year of graduation was 2004 and 65 per cent of the sample work in private practice. The survey reveals concerns over non‐coverage of some of the professional body's pre‐qualification competencies. The most useful subjects studied by graduates were construction technology and building pathology and the least useful was economics. The top two omitted subjects from courses were contract administration and dilapidations – both core areas of work. Skills development was weaker on postgraduate than undergraduate courses.
Those designing HE building surveying courses can refer to the results of this study to ensure that their curricula remain relevant and current to the needs of industry.
This study into building surveying education has been undertaken at a time when many UK universities are reviewing their course provision to ensure that they are well placed to survive the massive upheaval imposed by government funding cuts and changes in student finance. This study with its large sample size will be of assistance to those reviewing building surveying courses.
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