The high calibre of the University of Ulster’s urban planning students has been recognised by the granting of Partnership Board status by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI).
Dr Neale Blair, Course Director and Senior Lecturer in Spatial Planning, said the new status affirmed the importance of Ulster graduates to the planning profession in Northern Ireland.
“Our graduates have gone on to successfully find employment in the planning and development sector right across Northern Ireland and further afield, with several returning to Ulster for further research study,” he explained.
“The RTPI has commended our planning team on the relevance of teaching content to contemporary practice and the high level of support given to students.
“The skills and knowledge taught at Ulster are unique on the island of Ireland as no other planning school offers a specialism in urban development finance and town centre regeneration which we have been teaching since 2005.”
Professor Greg Lloyd, Head of the School of the Built Environment, said: “This new status underlines the high importance of land use planning in the modern world.
“The Board status will enable planning graduates from the University of Ulster to contribute to the maturing modernisation of land use planning in Northern Ireland.”
RTPI Partnership Boards offer a flexible approach to course development, accreditation and the future of initial professional planning education.
Once a university’s planning department has one or more established accredited courses – which have operated successfully – it will normally be invited to set up a Partnership Board.
In October 2010 the University of Ulster’s School of the Built Environment gained full accreditation by the RTPI as “an effective planning school”.
The Institute reviewed the Integrated Master’s (MSci) in Planning and Property Development (PPD) course, the research activities of the University’s planning team and other outreach activities.
The PPD course – the first Integrated Master’s to be offered anywhere in Ireland – is now dual accredited by the RTPI and Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), with both professional bodies now having a Partnership Board relationship with the University.
Caption: Dr Neale Blair, University of Ulster Course Director and Senior Lecturer in Spatial Planning