The Changing Context for Planning Education in the UK and the Prospects for Research-Led, Practice-Engaged Teaching

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Abstract

The UK’s Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) has celebrated its centenary in 2014, marking 100 years of close relationships between university-based planning schools and a professional body focused on planning practice. During this period, the context for university education and the very idea of planning have changed dramatically contributing to a continual renegotiation of the relationships between the planning profession and the educational institutions it accredits. These changes have been particularly pronounced in the last 10 years where a number of factors have forced a rapid change in the nature of planjavascript:void(0);ning education in the UK. This has included a boom and then slump in the number of planning students linked to the dynamics of national economic situation, a reorganization of many planning school curricula, and their merger with cognate disciplines such as geography and an increased focus on research output, rather than professional engagement as the key indicator of institutional success. This last factor adds a particularly new dimension to the profession-university relationship, which could potentially lead to either straining of tensions or a synergy through research-led teaching that could significantly benefit both. This chapter will briefly review the evolution of UK planning schools and of the main ideas informing planning education. It will then describe the current profile of UK planning schools, based on an extensive national survey conducted on behalf of the Royal Town Planning Institute. The paper will then critically review the main challenges and opportunities facing UK planning schools in the context of changes in both planning practice and higher education. It will then move on to the concept of research-led teaching, drawing on current practice in the UK and review how well this concept serves students and the idea of developing reflective planning practitioners. Finally, the paper will seek to draw broad lessons from the experience of the UK and reflect on the type of planning education that can best serve planning professions in a variety of international contexts in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUrban and Regional Planning Education: Learning for India
EditorsAshok Kumar, Diwakar S. Meshram, Krishne Gowda
Place of PublicationSingapore
PublisherSpringer
Pages257-272
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)978-981-10-0608-1
ISBN (Print)978-981-10-0607-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 May 2016
EventInternational Conference on Town and Country Planning Education: Retrospect and Prospect - University of Mysore, Mysore, India
Duration: 21 Nov 201423 Nov 2014

Conference

ConferenceInternational Conference on Town and Country Planning Education: Retrospect and Prospect
CountryIndia
CityMysore
Period21/11/201423/11/2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development

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