Innovative collaboration

August 7, 2014

The engineering skills shortage debate has been raised again as the result of a recent report – Excellence in Postgraduate Education: Manufacturing, Materials and Design – published by Cranfield University in partnership with the Higher Education Academy.

Some 46 bodies came to the conclusion that “a revolutionary improvement in postgraduate education” is required.

This comes as no surprise. The past two years have seen rising student dissatisfaction lead to a 13.5 per cent fall in the number of full-time engineering and technology postgraduates.

The report calls for three things: an industry road map, a cross-sector taxonomy of postgraduate education and an overhaul of teaching methods to bridge the gap between student and industry needs. Although this goes some way to combating the problem, more is needed.

Accutronics prescribes the use of an innovation strategy. Here, employers must innovate in both product and process development. One way of achieving this is by using government-funded knowledge transfer partnerships.

A serious remodelling of industry and academic collaboration is required if we are to lay the foundation for sustainable growth.

Rob Phillips
Managing director, Accutronics Ltd
Newcastle-under-Lyme

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