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Topic Title: 2 year engineering degrees
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Created On: 23 December 2009 11:41 AM
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 23 December 2009 11:41 AM
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jrackley

Posts: 1
Joined: 25 April 2008

Has anyone thought about Mr. Mandelson's 2 year University degree plan and how it will be applied to Engineering, specifically the accreditation of degrees.
Can a 2 year degree be accredited for a CEng and will it be accepted worldwide?
 23 December 2009 02:21 PM
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roybowdler

Posts: 276
Joined: 25 July 2008

Rather than talk about intensity of learning - a couple of examples come to mind.

I took six months to pass my driving test, having two lessons a week and waiting in a 12 week queue for a test date. I could have taken a one week intensive course.

I was responsible for a national award winning four-year student engineer training scheme for a number of years. The participants achieved a National Certificate, Foundation Degree and BSc(Hons) by attending an academic institution for less than one year in total.

They had to work extremely hard, had a very supportive employer and studied in their own time. However several achieved first class honours and were only a year or two from IEng on graduation.

So my view is "measure outputs not inputs". If a university wants to offer a more intense programme, then people have a choice. If output standards are watered down then the value of the degree awarded is equally diluted. I am sure that the IET would not allow compromised standards if a more intensive degree was proposed for accreditation.

-------------------------
Roy Bowdler IEng FIET FCIPD
IET Registration & Standards
 23 December 2009 08:34 PM
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mbirdi

Posts: 1907
Joined: 13 June 2005

Originally posted by: roybowdler
I was responsible for a national award winning four-year student engineer training scheme for a number of years. The participants achieved a National Certificate, Foundation Degree and BSc(Hons) by attending an academic institution for less than one year in total.

If I'm reading this correct then I find that hard to believe? As far as I'm aware there aren't any universities in the UK capable of offering an ONC and BSc(Hons) all in one year unless the training part, covered over 4 years, formed an intergal part of the qualifications above.
 31 December 2009 05:24 PM
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faramog

Posts: 444
Joined: 25 November 2002

Given that many students have to find part time work just to avoid an even larger mountain of debt, a 2 year option would really only help the more affluent or sponsored students. - personally, I think its an even bigger sell-out to our young people that the current system (which is bad enough). Its certainly doable: Buckingham uni does 2 years degrees, but then they are essentially a private university.

In the grand scheme of our national debts, £0.5B is peanuts .... our greatest problem skills wise is that we are not producing enough scientists or engineers, cutting funding is the most idiotic policy when faced with the need to re-skill, re-invigorate manufacturing, and give hope to our young people...

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Eur Ing Graham Prebble CEng MIEE
 04 January 2010 07:14 PM
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faramog

Posts: 444
Joined: 25 November 2002



I agree fully, but I don't think the solution is to flood the already over corwded job market with potentially lower quality graduate engineers than those out there already.


I agree and did not suggest 2 year courses. The 0.5B is what the prince of darkness claims will be the saving ... likely a made up no... but still peanuts in the grand scheme

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Eur Ing Graham Prebble CEng MIEE
 05 January 2010 07:00 PM
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mbirdi

Posts: 1907
Joined: 13 June 2005

The quality of education is high if it requires students to be involved in high academic work to achieve passes. It doesn't matter it it's 2 years or one year. Passing exams by answering questions on subjects that were already answered in the class or in assignments is just parrot fashioned.

The Engineering Council exams were the most difficult exams because they were externally set and marked. The students had no idea what questions would be set in the exam paper. As a result only a few students achieved passes. It is a shame that these exams are to come to an end by 2012. Candidates no longer want to sit exams that challenges them but want to take exams with certain expectations they can pass them.
 05 January 2010 08:03 PM
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westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

Originally posted by: mbirdi

The Engineering Council exams were the most difficult exams because they were externally set and marked. The students had no idea what questions would be set in the exam paper. As a result only a few students achieved passes. It is a shame that these exams are to come to an end by 2012.


So those who were lucky enough to have revised the correct area of the syllabus were smarter than you? I think not but I would like to hear your side of it......as I recall you passed most but were unlucky on one unit.

Candidates no longer want to sit exams that challenges them but want to take exams with certain expectations they can pass them.


If all us old codgers were/are so clever and passed all them hard exams and top quality apprentiships how come we allowed things to get to today's standards where we complain it's all so easy. Today's generation are our children and grandchildren are they not? Who voted in the governments who made the policies.......surely not today's young graduates.......no it was us!!

Maybe some people equally want it easy when they point the finger at someone else.

Regards.

Edited: 05 January 2010 at 08:11 PM by westonpa
 06 January 2010 10:10 AM
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westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

mbirdi,

Many thanks for the recap.

I really cannot see what those EC exams achieved, apart from lots of exam failures. You have obviously done OK for yourself and were made more informed by the study you undertook and not by the exams you took. Personally I think it's a difficult balance to get the academic level correctly matched over the decades because society and technology moves on. However today's youngsters have what 'we' gave them and thus if we think it is not so good today then we failed the 'providing for our youngsters/future education' exam. I do not see how any of the other exams we did can even compare in importance. Look at today's senior politicians, professors and business leaders and a lot of them are of our generation and the politicians were voted in by us!

A 1980s edition of Wireless World published an article on employers views of graduates at job interviews. They concluded that graduates, even those with 1st class honours in Electronics, showed poor understanding of their subject. These were full-time students in the 80s. Just think what the standards must be today for part-time students?


Yes but who validated the quality of the employers.......maybe there should have been a little bit of critical analysis of what the employers said and how they went about things. Society changes over time and so do many things which contribute to people's expectations and opinions. I have been to interviews where the interviewer knew less about my subject than my kids and yet tried to make out they were competent.......and to think those person's may have given some opinion of my knowledge and it be accepted as 100% correct because they were an 'employer'. However it does not mean the article was wrong of course. But anyway it matters not because our generation will pass the reigns onto to today's youngsters and who knows they may do a whole lot better job than we have.........despite their supposed easier degrees and other qualifications.

To get a multi-billion pound education system we now have requires attracting students into a carefully managed education production line. You get them in, educate them but don't test them to breaking point and then you throw them out at graduation. It's like producing cranberry juice where you process only good cranberries, by not growing bad cranberries in the first place.


I am not sure from your previous posts if you have children but if you do I am quite sure you did not make them into good children by first growing bad children. Equally I am quite sure, being the protective parent you were/are, that you tried to avoid exposing them to some of the big issues you had to face. Thus I conclude that if today's studies are easier then 'we' made them so and yet our studies were supposedly harder and better quality but we failed to maintain it. So whilst our education was supposedly better and more rigorous it lead to a result that was less so.......seems like it had its own faults as well!

I don't have the answers as to how to design the ideal education system but I 'think' that what we have today is not as bad as some people like to make out and what they had decades ago was not as good as some people like to make out.


Regards.
 06 January 2010 02:08 PM
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mbirdi

Posts: 1907
Joined: 13 June 2005

With your talent you could sell sand to the Arabs.

Welcome to the world of politics.

Lord Birdi
 06 January 2010 02:38 PM
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westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

Originally posted by: mbirdi

With your talent you could sell sand to the Arabs.

Welcome to the world of politics.

Lord Birdi


I heard that you are selling them sunshine.......seems I have a hard act to follow

Regards.
 07 January 2010 04:15 PM
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mbirdi

Posts: 1907
Joined: 13 June 2005

Originally posted by: westonpa
I don't agree with all your forum points, and vice versa

I hope it's not all of my forum points? Surely my technical replies on other forums are pretty sound? I'm certainly impressed with your replies as you try to give both sides of the argument equal merit. And thanks for the compliment.

Cheers.

Edited: 07 January 2010 at 06:24 PM by mbirdi
 07 January 2010 04:54 PM
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westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

mbirdi,

I don't agree with some of your forum points, and vice versa, but I do appreciate that they are generally well constructed and thought out which makes it even more of a challenge, and more fun, when disagreeing.

With regards to your 'rant' you were asked for your thoughts and you gave them honestly......much appreciated.

Regards.
 07 January 2010 05:22 PM
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danielscott

Posts: 461
Joined: 18 April 2003

Originally posted by: mbirdi

Originally posted by: westonpa

I don't agree with all your forum points, and vice versa


I hope it's not all of my forum points? Surely my technical replies on other forums are pretty sound? I'm certainly impressed with you replies as you try to give both sides of the argument equal merit. And thanks for the compliment.



Cheers.



Hi Mehmood,

Happy New Year.

I guess you now have a rival in westonpa for the member with the most responses in this Discussion Forum.

I would love to see you both on opposite sides of a Debate. We would never get home.

Best Regards,

Daniel
 07 January 2010 07:28 PM
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danielscott

Posts: 461
Joined: 18 April 2003

Originally posted by: mbirdi




I bet the weather is nice and sunny in Canada?



Actually, as I have been watching the U.K weather this past few weeks, we are much warmer here in Southern Ontario, than much of the U.K.

Keep warm and drink some of that good Scotch from north of the border.

Daniel
 07 January 2010 07:55 PM
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mbirdi

Posts: 1907
Joined: 13 June 2005

Originally posted by: danielscott
Keep warm and drink some of that good Scotch from north of the border.

I will!

Cheers
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