University engineering departments accepting students who do not meet new entry standards being formulated by the Engineering Council could be asked to subject their students to a new exam at the end of their first year.
In its SARTOR 96 training review the council wants to introduce a requirement of 24 points at A level or equivalent for entering an MEng course; 18 points for BEng(Hons) and six points for the ordinary BEng. It is drawing up a table of "equivalences" relating A level scores to around a dozen other qualifications, excluding some that are too difficult to quantify.
Some universities have argued that these equivalences and exclusions are "not sufficiently exhaustive". There may be an "exceptional provision" on condition that all students on such a course would have to take an externally set general engineering exam at the end of the first year and that students must have the option of switching after the first year to a less academically demanding engineering course leading to Incorporated Engineer status.