New University hopes to provide a pipeline of “industry-ready” engineers
A group proposing the UK’s first new university in 30 years believes it’s time for a revolution in the way we teach engineering, writes The Engineer.
Despite the efforts of various outreach programmes, publicity campaigns and government initiatives, the number of businesses complaining about the quality and quantity of engineering graduates remains stubbornly high.
While the number of engineering students has grown in line with the wider take-up of higher education, the latest skills survey from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) found around 40 per cent of engineering firms struggle to recruit graduate engineers, with 54 per cent saying graduate skill levels did not meet reasonable expectations.
Called the New Model in Technology & Engineering (NMITE), the private university aims to create a supply of work-ready engineers to support local engineering firms in its planned home in Herefordshire from 2017.
Although it is being advised by Bristol and Warwick universities, NMITE will eschew a traditional programme of engineering lectures. Instead it will teach students through a series of real-world problems supplied by businesses, a six-month work placement and an additional taught curriculum covering non-engineering subjects including arts and humanities to promote critical thinking and cultural awareness.