What elements of engineering curricula do graduates really value? - A reflective survey

G. A. Thomson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

When designing a curriculum, engineering academics have a number of influencers shaping the process including student expectations, accrediting body requirements and the needs of employers in filling often very diverse graduate roles. They also consider modes of teaching which often balance best practice and resource constraints. Feedback from accreditation visits, module questionnaires and industrial advisory boards help iterate and revise the curriculum, etc. and while these are useful, they may often be indirect or inappropriate measures of the effectiveness of our programmes in the workplace. An area the sector in general has less hard information on are reflections of graduates on specific elements of their undergraduate learning experience once in industry. The survey presented here is part of a wider mixed methods approach which will also involve initial destination data and interviews with graduates. The work presented here is based on a survey of selected graduates from a particular degree family over the past decade. The curriculum has been broken down into five areas typical of many degrees; traditional engineering science, applied engineering skills (eg. CAD, Quality), internship, group design build and test projects and their individual thesis project with graduates asked to reflect on the impact and value of each of these on their subsequent working life as a graduate engineer.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSEFI 47th Annual Conference
Subtitle of host publicationVarietas Delectat... Complexity is the New Normality, Proceedings
EditorsBalazs Vince Nagy, Mike Murphy, Hannu-Matti Jarvinen, Aniko Kalman
PublisherSociété Eropéenne pour la Formation des Ingénieurs
Pages1173-1182
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9782873520182
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020
Event47th SEFI Annual Conference 2019 - Varietas Delectat: Complexity is the New Normality - Budapest, Hungary
Duration: 16 Sep 201919 Sep 2019

Conference

Conference47th SEFI Annual Conference 2019 - Varietas Delectat: Complexity is the New Normality
CountryHungary
CityBudapest
Period16/09/1919/09/19

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Keywords

  • Curriculum design
  • Employability
  • Graduates

Cite this

Thomson, G. A. (2020). What elements of engineering curricula do graduates really value? - A reflective survey. In B. V. Nagy, M. Murphy, H-M. Jarvinen, & A. Kalman (Eds.), SEFI 47th Annual Conference: Varietas Delectat... Complexity is the New Normality, Proceedings (pp. 1173-1182). Société Eropéenne pour la Formation des Ingénieurs.