Educating Engineers for the 21st Century Professor Julia King CBE FREng Vice Chancellor Aston University Engineering Professors’ Council Annual Congress 4th April 2008 Motivation: changing world, changing engineering • Unprecedented global challenges • Growing requirement for engineers and scientists • UK: 24,000 engineers pa: static ‘ a key knowledge hub in the global • Changing nature of engineering jobs economy…with a • Products to integrated systems/customer solutions reputation …as a world leader in • Growing technological and system complexity turning knowledge • Increasing management complexity into new products • Globalisation, offshoring and international teaming and services’ Science and • Financial pressures on universities and students Innovation • Shortage of good maths and physics teachers Investment Framework • Student motivation 2004 – 2014 % engineers in UK undergraduate population: low and falling 25 % of engineers in the undergraduate population % engineers in undergraduate population 20 Japan Germany 15 Spain United Kingdom United States 10 5 0 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 Declining motivation? % students intending to work in engineering on graduation 75 70 65 60 55 50 Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year of engineering degree course The Royal Academy of Engineering Study • Industry: ► 21 in-depth interviews with major companies ► 13 interviews with SMEs - including 7 high-tech spin-outs ► 3 focus groups with recent graduates ► 444 questionnaire responses, 53% SMEs – industry changes, skills requirements – quality of graduates, changes needed in engineering education • Academia: ► questionnaire to all university engineering departments – responses to industry conclusions – examples of issues and of best practice ► 88 replies Industry’s messages • A worsening shortage of high calibre UK engineering graduates • Shortages are impacting productivity, creativity and growth • The best UK graduates are as good as their peers in Europe • Placements/industrial experience: early success in industry • Graduates need to be able to apply theory to real problems • UK engineering degree courses need attention ► to recognise the changing requirements of industry ► to attract and maintain motivation of students ► to ensure UK degrees remain world class Industry priorities for engineering graduates Trends in engineering education? Practical Pre-1950s: application practice of knowledge 21st 1960s: Century science & practice 1980s: science Disciplinary knowledge Academic Survey Results • Strong agreement with industry concerns • multi-disciplinary teaching • more design/make, project and practical activities • 88% want more industrial involvement • concern that industry doesn’t think long term about engagement with university education • but - resistant to universities ‘doing industry’s training’ • Enthusiastic for change • 72% support introduction of new engineering courses: Bioengineering, Nanotechnology… • 59% promoting CDIO-type approaches to learning and teaching • keen to introduce ‘systems thinking’ - but only 30% think Systems Engineering should be a stand-alone course • many examples of good practice quoted Goals of CDIO To educate students to master a deeper working knowledge of the technical fundamentals To educate engineers to lead in the creation and operation of new products and systems To educate future researchers to understand the importance and strategic value of their work Pedagogic Logic Most engineers are concrete operational learners ► Manipulate objects to understand abstractions ► Experience first, theory second CDIO teaching model SKILLS DEVELOPMENT “TRADITIONAL” APPROACH PROVIDE INTRODUCE PROVIDE FACILITATE CONCRETE “THEORY” APPLICATION REFLECTION EXPERIENCES OF TOPIC OPPORTUNITIES KOLBIAN STRING ADVANTAGES Deeper learning of fundamentals More opportunities for developing skills Covers all learning styles Emphasis on articulating and solving problems – appropriate for engineers - rather than analysis – more appropriate for scientists Formula Student: design, build, test - compete Constructionarium: design, build, test - run a big project But: some major inhibitors • Research Assessment Exercise – highly detrimental to teaching: 75% • Decline in funding per student for teaching • Current quality assessment and accreditation approaches: 60% Recommendations to Government • To increase funding for teaching to cover the true cost of providing world-class engineering education: from 1.7 to 2.5 times the unit of resource • To place teaching excellence alongside research excellence in funding universities • To allow overseas engineering students to work in the UK for a period of 5 years after graduation • To ensure European courses comparisons are made on the basis of output standards, not input hours • To increase funding for initiatives to strengthen industry links • Visiting Professor and Lecturer schemes • industrial placements, especially in small companies • To continue to provide support for the training of more maths and physics teachers The Costs of Engineering Degrees • Review by Engineering Professors Council and ETB • Real evidence of underfunding • Survival from the cross-subsidy from overseas students • If we don't redress the funding balance we threaten home provision and the quality and reputation that attracts international students • 14% increase to stand still – but significantly more to move forward • Not only do we need to maintain quality we also need to 'invest in engineers for the 21st Century Overseas students and the UK economy • UK second largest proportion of overseas students after US • US 20% UK 11% (data for 2004) • Net injection into the UK economy: £3.8bn • From fees and living costs in 2004/5 • Significant export industry: alcoholic drinks £2.8bn; clothing £2.5bn; publishing £2.3bn; cultural and media industries £3.7bn • International students and academic visitors are estimated to generate 24,000 additional jobs • Several thousand international students remain in the UK to work each year: • Estimated £2bn contribution to GDP in 2004/5 Data from HEPI 2007 Recommendations to Universities • To recognise excellence and innovation in course design and delivery in promotion criteria, bonuses and salary • To strengthen links with industry to enhance course design and to enable the delivery of the engineering knowledge, skills and competences needed by business • To ensure that courses produce motivated graduates, able to apply their engineering knowledge • To develop new world-class engineering degree courses with strong technical content in areas which appeal to students and deliver industry’s needs • To engage actively in science and engineering initiatives in schools Recommendations to Industry • To commit to active, long term relationships with university engineering departments focused on engineering education and recruitment • Advisory Boards • Visiting Professors, Lecturers and Industrial Tutors, two-way staff exchanges • student placements • visits • project and design/make challenges • mentoring of young academics • feedback on the quality of graduates and the relevance of their education • To promote science and engineering in schools • To engage with the Institutions in the accreditation of professional engineering Recommendations to Institutions and the Academy • To recognise excellence in university teaching, eg. through high profile awards for excellence and innovation • To make the accreditation process more strategic - a prime generator of change and development of state-of-the-art courses • To establish processes which support the creation, development and accreditation of multidisciplinary degrees • To engage actively with science and engineering initiatives in schools • To help strengthen the university/industry interface through promotion of activities such as Formula Student, Visiting Professor and Lecturer schemes etc • To facilitate sharing of best practice in engineering education through support to interest groups, organisation of engineering education events and conferences etc Next steps • Sainsbury Review: The Race to the Top ‘ The RAEng has recently produced an excellent report entitled Educating Engineers for the 21st Century. This makes a number of important recommendations about how engineering education in our universities should develop in line with the real and constantly evolving requirements of industry, as well s motivating students to become engineers on graduation.’ • Recommendation 7.17 ‘A leading member of the engineering profession should be asked to set up a working group of experts from academia and industry to review current approaches to engineering education. The group should develop, with a number of leading engineering universities, an experience-led engineering degree which integrates technical, operational and business skills.’ ‘Engineers for Enterprise’ • RAEng proposal to DIUS • Study of ‘Experience-Led’ Engineering Degree Courses • Enhanced traditional • CDIO-based • Problem-based, Scenario-based, Enquiry-based learning approaches • Sandwich, Industry sponsored • Blended learning • Comparisons • Curriculum • Costs • Motivation and student feedback • Recruitment and industry uptake • Industry links and employer feedback • Feeding into HEFCE 2008 review of teaching funding method Well it is April 1st … Thank you! And thanks to the staff at the Royal Academy of Engineering, especially Bob Ditchfield and Ian Bowbrick and to the other members of the Academy Working Party: Professor Graham Davies, Professor Peter Goodhew, Professor Geoff Kirk (Rolls-Royce), Professor David Nethercot, Professor Mike Withers, Professor John Roulston, Dr Mike Shears (Arup), Dr Julia Shelton.
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