Scottish higher education institutions are facing a "worrying" downward trend in the quality of applications for engineering degree courses, according to the Committee of Scottish Higher Education Principals.
In a report it warns that a "premier league" of research-driven engineering departments could be created with the remainder taking on low level, routine teaching and training.
"It is to be hoped that this will be avoided," says the report. "Changes will need to be accepted. Some departments and courses will need to be restructured and refined."