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Postgraduate teaching innovation

03 November 2007

Students on the Master in Planning Practice and Research course at the School of City and Regional Planning had the opportunity to participate in one of three international ‘live’ projects, working in collaboration with postgraduates from different countries on a client-based brief for a city planning department, council, or planning consultancy.

One group of Cardiff students visited Xiamen in China, where they worked on a regeneration and historical conservation strategy for the city’s old town. A second group which included students from the Welsh School of Architecture traveled to Italy to develop designs for the regeneration of the Canale Candiano in Ravenna. Here the Cardiff students worked alongside fellow postgraduates from the University of Southern California (USC), La Sapienza University, Rome, Dortmund University and Universities in Ravenna. A third team, also involving students studying from USC critically examined the regeneration strategy for Newport, Gwent following a brief of Newport Unlimited Ltd. Each case involved time pressured circumstances and drew upon the expertise of the School’s students and their international peers.

Finding a solution to an actual problem for a client is an integral part of the degree programme but this international and collaborative dimension brings a greater level of cross-cultural learning and experiences into the course.

Dr Francesca Sartorio,School of City and Regional Planning, is the module leader: "Setting up and realising projects of this kind is not an easy task and would not have been possible without the support of many individuals within the School and the University. The projects go beyond the experience a student can have on a field trip and what is particularly valuable is the intense experience of working within a ‘project team’ in a foreign context and in close contact with fellow students and professionals from other countries and cultural backgrounds."

Following the success of the pilot scheme, the School intends to implement the programme for students on the Masters degree this year.