24 September, 2020

Diploma puts engineering at heart of curriculum

08 October, 2009

The Engineering Diploma for 14–19 year-olds will help develop future generations of skilled engineers by placing engineering at the heart of the curriculum for the first time, according to the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET). One year on from the introduction of the diploma, the IET has published a report, ‘Transforming Engineering Education’, which considers the merits of the new engineering qualification.

Initial feedback is encouraging with students and teachers across the country reporting that the diploma is highly engaging. Engineering departments within universities are recognising that the diploma includes challenging content and provides a good foundation for a university path. Contrary to some reports, the engineering diploma has been expressly welcomed by many of the top universities. Dr Stuart Porter, undergraduate admissions tutor at the University of York, commented: “There’s much to like about the engineering diploma. This new qualification covers many aspects of engineering and will provide prospective university students with a real understanding of what engineering is about.”
Extra curricular activity
Nigel Fine, chief executive of the IET, said: “On the handful of occasions that engineering has previously been available in schools, it tended to be treated as an extra curricular activity, with the result that students assimilated very limited knowledge of the subject and no appropriate careers information was ever available.
“The IET has been involved in the Diploma since day one and we see its introduction as a very positive development. It will raise levels of understanding and interest in engineering, by placing engineering at the very heart of the curriculum for the first time.” While overall positive, the IET’s report does identify some areas that need addressing, such as the low participation rate among females. Just 7 per cent of students in the first year were female.

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