EU architects still flock to the UK

The Brexit uncertainty hasn’t stopped EU architects from applying to work in the UK, according to the Architects Register Board (ARB) annual report.

The data, released at the end of July, revealed nearly half of all new admissions to the Register in 2016 were EU citizens – and just 26 were non-EU residents.


According to the report, of the 2,507 architects admitted to the Register in 2016, 1,232 were from the EU, while 1,249 – from the UK. The remaining 26 were applicants from non-EU countries who applied via the ARB ‘prescribed exam route’.

Gender gap narrows

A slight increase in the numbers of female architects admitted to the ARB was recorded in 2016, with women making up 44 per cent of new admissions compared to 42 per cent in 2015.

The gender disparity was bigger among UK applicants, where just 39 per cent of new admissions were female, compared to 49 per cent of those coming from EU member states.


The ARB stated the EU Referendum result has had ‘a significant impact’ on the questions it received from stakeholders, and the regulator’s dedicated FAQs on the topic received over 1,700 visitors over the course of the year.

Nabila Zulfiqar, Chair of the ARB said:

“The 2016 Annual Report contains a raft of interesting data. Notably, we saw a continuing upward trend in the size of the Register including an increase in the number of new female architects.

“The year ahead requires us to focus on the recommendations of the Government’s periodic review alongside delivering our statutory functions whilst continuously looking for efficiency and improvement opportunities. We will also provide the government with information and expertise on regulatory matters, in relation to the UK’s departure from the EU.”

Karen Holmes, the Registrar and Chief Executive, added:

“It is clear from the data that architects value their status as regulated professionals which is reflected by the growing number of admissions to the Register. We remain committed to further developing our relationships with consumer and client stakeholders, informing them about the Register and the role of the regulator to support informed decision making.”