BAC Announces Partnership with Pakistan's National College of Arts-Rawalpindi

Student and faculty exchanges aim to develop a curriculum, build capacity, and add online capabilities

Leaders of the BAC and NCA meet to form educational partnership; Photo by Sam Rosenholtz

The Boston Architectural College (BAC) is pleased to announce that it has entered into a Cooperative Agreement Contract with the National College of Arts (NCA) in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, to develop a curriculum, build capacity, and add online capabilities through student and faculty exchanges in the discipline of Historic Preservation.

The Boston Architectural College was successful in September, 2013, in obtaining this award from the United States Department of State, Public Affairs Section, US Embassy Islamabad, Pakistan in their University Partnership program. This is the first preservation contract to be funded by the US Department of State through the Embassy in Islamabad.

The goals of the partnership include promotion of professional development and expansion of cultural awareness through faculty and student exchanges, conducting scholarly research, development of a heritage conservation field school, and establishment of a robust online course delivery system to expand accessibility to quality design and heritage conservation education.

This three year commitment supports the development of a sustainable institutional partnership between The Boston Architectural College, and the National College of Arts-Rawalpindi in the field of Architecture and Heritage Conservation and Management. Funding is for $1 million dollars over a period of three years.

The BAC was founded in 1889 as an independent, practice-based professional school of architecture and has since evolved to include accredited bachelor's and master's programs in interior design, landscape architecture, and design studies. It has been internationally recognized for its online design programs and it's emerging historic preservation program.

The National College of Arts main campus was founded in Lahore in 1875. The new campus in Rawalpindi was founded in 2005. The NCA, similar to the BAC, has a mission "to ensure gender parity and diversity in culture and socio-economic levels in the student body," recruiting students from all over Pakistan. The NCA began as an institution devoted to local crafts and has become a school with multiple programs in fine arts, architecture, film and television, textile design and communication design, product design and multimedia arts, and cultural studies.

The project teams from the two institutions will be led by Robert W. Ogle, director of Historic Preservation Studies at The Boston Architectural College, and Dr. Nadeem Omar Tarar, director, National College of Arts Rawalpindi. Dr. Tarar visited the BAC in October to initiate the collaboration. Robert Ogle visited the NCA in November to begin to scout sites where preservation activities might take place.

According to Robert Ogle, project director for the partnership between the BAC and the NCA, "We are honored to have the opportunity to partner with National College of Arts-Rawalpindi to develop architectural heritage conservation programming and research that celebrates the rich and diverse culture of Pakistan. This institutional partnership was made possible by the foresight of the personnel at the Public Affairs Section, US Embassy Islamabad, to support the effort at a sustainable level."

Dr. Nadeem Omar Tarar says, "It is a great opportunity for National College of Arts-Rawalpindi to develop linkages with Boston Architectural College in the field of architecture and historic preservation. It is envisioned that institutional partnership will help NCA to emerge as the center of excellence in the field of historic preservation and cultural heritage management in whole of South Asia. The role of the US Embassy-Islamabad in nurturing the partnership between BAC-NCA is highly commendable and reaffirms the commitment for a long lasting Pak-American friendship. The Higher Education Commission's (Pakistan) avowed support for sustaining the linkages will help consolidate the institutional partnerships for the strengthening the institutions of higher learning in Pakistan."

Boston Architectural College President Dr. Ted Landsmark believes this contract will expand historic preservation studies and best practices globally, while building cultural connections between the United States and Pakistan. "We are entering our 125th year of providing hands-on professional design programs serving diverse communities. We believe this new relationship will result in students and faculty learning from one another in divergent settings, and with undergraduates in Pakistan coming to the BAC for their graduate degrees in Historic Preservation. We will have ongoing partnerships between the schools, extending the global outreach of the BAC, and providing rich opportunities for cultural exchanges between our countries."



Photo Above: William Remsen, Associate Project Director, Instructor, Boston Architectural College, Chief Preservation Architect at International Preservation Associates, Inc.; Robert (Bob) W. Ogle, Director of Historic Preservation Studies; Dr. Nadeem Omar Tara, Director, National College of Arts-Rawalpindi; Ted Landsmark, BAC President; Sharon Matthews, Director of Global Initiatives, Special Assistant to the President; Dr, Rafique Mughal, Professor of Archeaology, Boston University; Richard Boyum, United States Department of State.