Changes for engineering courses

June 13, 1997

THE Engineering Council is set to push universities to reduce the number of accredited courses leading to Chartered Engineer status, writes Kam Patel.

A summary of the council's review of engineering education and training says the reduced emphasis on the "knowledge-based" chartered engineer courses should be matched by more courses for incorporated engineers who have better technical skills. The current bias in universities towards the CEng "does not represent the needs of employers and the balance should be changed", it says.

The council is delaying publishing the full report until the Dearing inquiry has reported. But the summary indicates the council is determined to press ahead with its controversial proposals to toughen entry standards to address concerns over quality: "There is now doubt that the output standards from different university courses can be considered equivalent."

It proposes several changes to raise standards, such as four years of academic study instead of three for courses leading to CEng. The requirement is to be met by either a four-year masters of engineering or a three-year bachelor of engineering plus one year of additional learning.

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