Korea Architectural Accrediting Board

Introduction to Accrediting

The Establishment of the Korea Architectural Accrediting Board was lead by Architectural Institute of Korea, Korea Institute of Registrated Architects, and Korea Institute of Architects. KAAB is an incorporate associate which has the permission of Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs. KAAB provides architectural education curriculum guidelines, accredits architectural education programs, and provides consulting services. Also, KAAB promotes quality-based evaluation of education programs, in contrast to the quantity-based, across the board evaluation, to stimulate education programs at universities. This results in the qualification of domestic programs to the international architectural education standards, mutual recognition of the education outputs, and is mainly run by professional architects and qualified scholars.
As a result, since the very first accrediting in 2006 until 2009, 34 out of the total of 74 5-year professional-degree programs were approved as candidates for accreditation. 23 out of the 34 candidates applied for accreditation, and 19 programs (professional master degree Programs included) were accredited. Also, 5 architectural educational programs have been confirmed to go through the accrediting inspection process, indicating that architectural accreditation has now fully settled.

Higher Education Act and Architect Registration Act

The Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology has revised the Higher Education Act in order to lead architectural education, along with 7 other fields, to meet international standards by supporting the self-evaluation of its education programs. In doing so, the MEST supports the work of sectional accredit evaluation organizations and admission to international agreements regarding professional education and work force migration. KAAB has applied and will become the 'accredit organization' according to the act, to evaluate architectural education programs of each school. Also, the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs has made changes in the Architect Registration Act in order to guarantee the influential force of the accredit organization. According to the amendments, it will now be a prerequisite to be a graduate of an accredited architectural education program in order to be eligible for architect license examination.

Canberra Accord

Canberra Accord was initiated by the Washington Conference in May 2006 for the international acknowledgement of accrediting organizations from Korea, the United States of America, Great Britain, Australia, Canada, China, Mexico, along with UIA/UNESCO, and CAA. As a result, it has been concluded and signed in April 2008, in Canberra, that the architectural education programs that the accredit organizations from each country prescribe are essentially equal. Additionally, the 2nd Canberra Accord general assembly was held in Seoul, Korea which is being considered successful with positive feedback.

UNESCO-UIA Accredit Organization Assignment

On May 27th 2009, KAAB has become the only accrediting board that is recognized by both the Canberra Accord and UNESCO-UIA, by gaining certification from UNESCO-UIA, Validation Council for Architectural Education.
Students who studied at KAAB certified institutes are expected to be recognized their studies in member countries of the Canberra Accord, meaning that they are eligible to apply for architect registration. On the other hand, domestic universities will be able to attract foreign students. These consequences will act as advantages when graduates of recognized institutes begin their careers, either domestically or internationally.
Nowadays, trade barriers are being put away, according to WTO system. Also, FTA's are actively being agreed upon many different countries. Efforts to meet international standards are to be made not only in the architectural industry, but in architectural education as well. KAAB would like to acknowledge the efforts of each architectural education programs regardless of the difficulties and call for their everlasting support in this endeavor. KAAB will do the best for the future of architectural education in Korea, with much expectations for talented architects coming forth in great numbers.