University-led innovative and inspirational engineering education

Alison Halstead*, Lee Kilgour

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputConference publication


    The UK Government and large employers have recognised the skills gap between learners leaving the education system and the requirements of employers. The current system is seen to be failing significant numbers of learners and has been accused of schooling but not educating our young people. University-led technical colleges are one part of the solution being developed to provide outstanding engineering education. This paper focusses on the learning experience that the Aston University Engineering Academy, the first University-led University Technical College (UTC), has created for entrants to the Engineering Academy in September 2012, when it opens in brand new buildings next to the University. The overall aim is to produce technically literate young people that have business and enterprise skills as well as insight into the diverse range of opportunities in Engineering and Technical disciplines. The project has brought University staff and students together with employers and Academy staff to optimise the engineering education that they will receive. The innovative model presented has drawn on research from across the world in the implementation of this new type of school, as well as educational practices from the USA and the Scandinavian countries. The resulting curriculum is authentic and exciting and expands the University model of problem-based learning and placements into the secondary school environment. The benefits of this close partnership for University staff and students, the employers and the Academy staff are expanded on and the paper concludes with a prediction of progression routes from the Academy.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationConference proceedings for EE2012
    Subtitle of host publicationinnovation, practice and research in engineering education
    PublisherHigher Education Academy
    Number of pages7
    ISBN (Print)978-1-907632-16-7
    Publication statusPublished - 2012
    EventInternational conference on innovation, practice and research in Engineering Education - Coventry, United Kingdom
    Duration: 18 Sept 201220 Sept 2012


    ConferenceInternational conference on innovation, practice and research in Engineering Education
    Abbreviated titleEE 2012
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright © September 2012, authors as listed at the start of this paper. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)


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