The Department of Architecture (ARCH) is one of the four departments of the School of Engineering at the University of Cyprus. Considering that design is the common factor in all conceptual or other subdivisions or categories, the four basic areas of study are: architectural theory and history, architectural communication media, architectural technology, and urban design.
The program of Architecture offers the following degrees:
- BSc. in Architecture
- Diploma of Architect-Engineer
- Inter – Departmental Master Programme:
- Energy Technologies and Sustainable Design (ETSD)
- Ph.D. in Architecture
The mission of the Department of Architecture as an outstanding academic center of studies within the School of Engineering at the University of Cyprus, but also in the wider European region, is to educate students to become successful architects who can perform internationally, but who will also have the knowledge and sensitivity to respond to and to influence positively the formulation of the built environment in the eastern Mediterranean region.
Central to the philosophy of the department’s mission are the synergies achieved through the dynamic synthesis of design emanating both from the humanities and the technological dimensions of Architecture. Such an endeavour takes place by emphasizing the complex and fascinating aspects of the field of Architecture. It also takes place through the formulation of a design culture that considers theoretical, historical, political, and technological quests to redefine the role of architecture in the making of the built environment. Some of the challenges for architects in the academic and professional contexts have to do with claiming a new role in contemporary society, as well as making a positive and sustainable contribution to the manmade environment.
Consequently, in pursuing its stated mission, the Department of Architecture investigates diverse approaches that may contribute to the creation of contemporary architectural practices with regard to a wide spectrum of scales, from the scale of the element, to the building, up to the urban and territorial scales.
Department’s strategic planning
The department’s strategic plan has benefited from the offerings and the recommendations of the advisory committee in the recently conducted evaluations of the department’s program. As such, the methodology followed has taken into consideration the positions addressed by the departmental ad-hoc and which include, in addition to members of the faculty, representatives of the students body from all relevant programs of study and of the entire administrative and technical staff. Furthermore, the strategic plan has been formulated in close collaboration with the parent institution’s quality assurance team to complement and more specifically address relevant aspects of the parent institution’s strategic plan.
The goals set by the department emanate from the department’s position that architecture is inherently related to a wide variety of domains, such as cultural, social, technological, political and economic that affect both people and the environment on many levels. As a result, the Department of Architecture at the University of Cyprus has an important role to play in the production of an architectural culture, and the broadening of design knowledge and knowhow, as these are related to the wide variety of factors mentioned above. The department of Architecture encourages a dialogue among the various agents who are directly or indirectly involved in the production of architecture and the city by providing a high quality education to students and by pursuing engagement with the production of the built environment.
Consequently, the strategic objectives of the Department of Architecture aim to:
- Strengthen departmental evaluation mechanisms and improve the quality of teaching and research.
- Improve delivery of coursework through appropriate faculty to student ratio by increasing number of projected permanent faculty community to eighteen faculty members bringing for example the studio instructor to student ratio to one for every twelve or fifteen.
- Integrate professional practice and academic research in the curricular structure so as to render graduates competitive in a wide range of employment opportunities.
- Develop instructional and technical infrastructure and introduce mechanisms that enhance and enrich student learning in the study and practice of Architecture.
- Enhance critical thinking and student engagement with every aspect of the important pillars of ecology, technology, society, culture, politics and economy.
- Intensify outreach efforts to try and attract exceptional colleagues as academic staff, researchers, and students.
- Support the development of knowledge propagation by preserving and enhancing existing fields of research and by attracting and opening up the department to new research areas.
- Encourage interdisciplinarity and the collaboration both within the department / school / university as well as with regional and international partners.
- Foster innovation and entrepreneurship in the field of the built environment so as to critically address the needs of society both locally and globally.
- Encourage the mobility of the department’s active community and its graduates so as to broaden their networks of collaboration and develop partnerships that lead to opportunities for research and practice.
- Increase the level of communication skills and competencies within the department by increasing the number of courses and programs offered in the English language.
- Strengthen departmental cohesion and support departmental autonomy, where appropriate, through effective deliberations and cooperation of departmental ad-hoc committees.
- Assure flexibility in the management of the department’s everyday functions to account for the absence of staff in training missions, sabbaticals, etc.
- Align and simplify decision-making processes in the department’s dealings with the School of Engineering and the University at large.
- Effect optimal utilization of the department’s human resources and provide every needed support mechanism for accomplishing the mission and strategic goals of the department.
- Enable and ensure the continuous training and professional development of all teaching, research and administrative personnel so as to maintain the highest levels of institutional support.
- Develop mechanisms and evaluation criteria that lead to both increased accountability in conjunction with effective incentivization of the department’s personnel. The goal is to encourage all those involved to adopt the department’s mission as their own.
- Constantly reevaluate and rethink operational processes so as to enhance cooperation between the department and its extended institutional community.
- Enhance existing sources of revenue and seek new ones by attracting internal and external funding and grants in order to support the academic activities of the department’s community of students, researchers and instructors and in order to develop new academic initiatives for learning and research.
- Undertake cooperation with public and private partners and enter long-term ‘social-and-professional contracts’ to support and increase financial reserve management strategies.
- Draft short, medium and long-term organizational plans and set related goals and milestones to make optimal utilization of departmental, school-wide and institutional financial resources by engaging in interdepartmental graduate and professional programs for instance.
- Strengthen institutional ability to attract internationally competitive personnel with a substantial potential for creative contributions.
- Overcome the stagnation resulting from an island-wide economic crisis and ride the emergent wave of opportunities as these emerge or are created by a more robust and recovering economy.
- Support and strengthen existing social and cultural activities between the department and the community it serves.
- Promote the establishment of new inroads that foster the local community’s visions and expectations and meet collective goals for development, growth and regeneration.
- Encourage the department’s personnel to actively engage in the strategic planning and drafting of the country’s executive and legislative requirements that are related to the field through strategic consulting engagements.
- Foster rigorous participation of the department in its community so as to optimize the use of its human resources and its infrastructure with a view to maximizing potential beneficial contributions to society.
- Support the development activities, initiatives and entrepreneurial efforts of the community at large, but also those initiated by the department’s students and alumni.
- Utilize the department’s competencies and expertise in the context of the built environment to constructively affect the state’s decision-making processes.
- Promote meritocracy by encouraging a critical engagement in issues involving ethics and the perceived goals of society forth the benefit of the citizen.
- Establish mechanisms for ‘consulting with society’ by creating an effective institutional framework aiming at a controlled and transparent public engagement.