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AUS Bachelor of Architecture degree added to list of recognized qualifications in India
For American University of Sharjah (AUS) graduate Samantha John, moving to India to pursue a career in architecture has been incredibly rewarding. As the university’s first graduate to be officially registered with the Indian Council of Architecture (COA) earlier this year, John is leading Mumbai’s current biggest corporate interior fit out project as Senior Architect and Project Lead with M. Moser Associates—which spans one million square-feet—for global financial giant JP Morgan Chase & Co.
As a young graduate who earned her Bachelor of Architecture from the AUS College of Architecture, Art and Design, John quickly secured employment in the UAE with Australian-based architecture firm Woods Bagot in 2008, and later worked with property developer ENSHAA PSC. In 2011, she relocated to Mumbai, India to pursue a career in her home country and be part of the city’s rapid urban growth. However, at the time she returned to India the Bachelor of Architecture degree was not formally recognized by the COA.
“In Mumbai I interacted with a lot of fresh architecture graduates and found that our curriculum at AUS is broad, diverse and molded us along multiple dimensions. Not having AUS in the list of recognized institutions was disappointing,” she said. Having had aspirations to one day start her own registered design practice and teach at the university level, she made it her personal mission to have her AUS degree formally recognized in India.
While the AUS Bachelor of Architecture program became the first of its kind outside North America to be accredited in 2010 by the National Architectural Accrediting Board of the United States, graduates from the program could only formally register with the COA in India starting November last year. This is largely thanks to John’s determination and persistence.
“In 2012 I started my pursuit by figuring out the procedures involved in getting my degree recognized by the COA. After numerous visits to the Ministry of Human Resources and Development in New Delhi, in 2018 the Ministry finally initiated my request that COA evaluate the AUS Bachelor of Architecture degree,” she said.
Under the guidance of CAAD Dean Dr. Varkki Pallathucheril and Head of Architecture Professor George Katodrytis, John compiled the documents for completing the evaluation process. In November 2020, the AUS Bachelor of Architecture degree was added to the list of foreign qualifications that are recognized by the Indian Central Government. John received her certificate of registration this week.
Dr. Pallathucheril said this recognition is a major milestone for AUS architecture students and alumni, especially those who wish to practice in India.
“We are proud of Samantha John’s persistence in securing recognition from the Indian Council of Architecture, which is yet another example of the value of CAAD degrees within the UAE and beyond. I am sure this will now open doors to many more opportunities for CAAD alumni to make a broader impact with their work as architects and designers. India represents a large market full of opportunities for our architecture graduates,” he said.
To learn more about the Bachelor of Architecture program in the College of Architecture, Art and Design at American University of Sharjah and how to register with the Indian Council of Architecture, visit https://www.aus.edu/caad/accreditation