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					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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