Engineering recruitment back on track

2013-14 figures assuage fears of course closures

November 7, 2013

The number of students starting engineering courses has recovered after sharp falls in recruitment last year, a survey indicates, easing fears that some departments might close.

Forty-six out of 82 university engineering departments that responded to an Engineering Professors’ Council poll say that their intake of home and European Union undergraduates has increased in 2013-14, with about half of those schools recording growth of at least 10 per cent.

Student numbers have fallen at only 19 departments associated with the council and 17 say recruitment levels are about the same.

Recruitment of non-EU undergraduate as well as home and international postgraduate engineering students also improved at many departments this year after a dramatic slump in demand in 2012-13, according to the data, which were published at a conference held at the Institution of Civil Engineers in London on 4 November.

At 33 of the 82 departments, non-EU undergraduate numbers have risen, compared with only 10 where numbers have dipped, says the poll – one of the earliest indications of 2013-14 recruitment levels.

Domestic postgraduate numbers climbed at 26 departments (declining at only 14) out of 83 respondents, while international postgraduate numbers have risen at 30 (falling at 18).

The recruitment upturn, particularly for international postgraduates, was welcomed by engineering academics who had expressed fears that last year’s dip in recruitment might force many courses to close.

‘Welcome recovery’

Susan Kay, executive director of the council, said the figures represented a “welcome recovery” after disappointing recruitment in 2012-13 – the first year in which £9,000 tuition fees were charged.

“There are some marked increases in home and EU undergraduates, possibly as students seek programmes with good employment prospects,” Ms Kay said.

Higher recruitment on taught postgraduate courses was also good news, but many departments remained under pressure, she added.

“The situation in [taught postgraduate courses] probably represents a return to the position pre-2011, rather than a net increase overall,” she said.

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Post-doctoral Research Associate in Chemistry

University Of Western Australia

PACE Data Support Officer

Macquarie University - Sydney Australia

Associate Lecturer in Nursing

Central Queensland University
See all jobs

Most Commented

women leapfrog. Vintage

Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O’Gorman offer advice on climbing the career ladder

Mitch Blunt illustration (23 March 2017)

Without more conservative perspectives in the academy, lawmakers will increasingly ignore and potentially defund social science, says Musa al-Gharbi

Michael Parkin illustration (9 March 2017)

Cramming study into the shortest possible time will impoverish the student experience and drive an even greater wedge between research-enabled permanent staff and the growing underclass of flexible teaching staff, says Tom Cutterham

The University of Aberdeen

Tim Ingold and colleagues at the University of Aberdeen have created a manifesto that they hope will preserve higher education's true values

Interactive app at natural history museum

If the outcomes of ‘active learning’ are so much better than those for traditional lectures, why stick with the old format? asks Simone Buitendijk