Tertiary Training - Non-degree Courses

Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 4
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1989
In addressing the need for non-degree tertiary training, let us examine some recent reviews of engineering and geoscience education. The Finniston Report (1) criticised the formation of engineers in the UK and stated that this was largely due to the narrow British conception of engineering as a branch of applied science which militates against an effective marriage between theory and application. It also criticised the system for not giving students sufficient grounding in the synthesis of technical, human and financial considerations within their undergraduate courses. As we all know, this report has led to the restructuring of engineering education in the UK. More recently, a Review of the Discipline of Engineering was carried out in Australia by a committee chaired by Professor Sir Bruce Williams (2). The report stated that: Australia has a fairly good system of engineering education that should be made better. more should be done to develop the communication skills of both staff and students. more attention should be paid to changes in engineering practice and the human element in technology. there is a serious shortage of state of the art equipment in most engineering schools. female enrolments in engineering courses should be increased from the current level of about 7% to 20% by 1997. employers should develop a better understanding of the need for continuing education. staff in engineering schools should develop closer relations with employers of engineers. higher education institutions with engineering schools should give financial and other inducements to staff to increase the proportion of study leave or professional development leave spent working as engineers in the business sector. there is considerable room for improvements in the teaching process and in the development of evaluation schemes for assessing the teaching contributions of staff. In its recent report to the Council of the Institution of Engineers, Australia, the Task Force on Engineering Education(3) makes the following points: managerial, entrepreneurial, professional and interpersonal skills should be introduced and integrated into the undergraduate courses but studied in depth as part of continuing education. the continuing education policy of the Institution should be promoted and strengthened with all engineers required to pursue continuing education. the Institution should develop a comprehensive guide to continuing education available from universities, colleges and other public and private sector organisations.
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