Presentation on theme: "HE STEM Enhancing Employability of Engineering Students, a Selection of Case Studies."— Presentation transcript:
HE STEM Enhancing Employability of Engineering Students, a Selection of Case Studies
The HEFCE funded National HE STEM Programme ran from 2009 to £1.447M was secured by the Royal Academy of Engineering and distributed to HE Engineering Departments throughout England and Wales. Engineering in Society (widening participation and diversity) Education Research Curriculum Innovation Outreach Large Scale Strategic Projects The principal objective of the RAEng was to increase collaboration between HE Institutions and Industry and create a legacy of informed practice. The National HE STEM Programme
Selected Case Studies Internships with SMEs - London South Bank University Integrating Industrial Expertise into Delivery and Assessment - Brunel University, Simulated Industrial Practice - Imperial College, (and later - University of the West of England, University of Derby, Aston University, Southampton University).
London South Bank University developed a higher apprentices work placements model across several SMEs Short intern or sandwich work placements are usually situated with one employer There is competition for the limited number of placements available The majority of engineering companies are in the ‘small end’ of the SME range Due to the specialised nature of some learner needs, engaging suitable SMEs can be very challenging Internships with SMEs - London South Bank University
Technologically focussed on processes which aligned with existing LSBU programmes. Appropriate level of supervision and meaningful learning experience. Student adding value to the company. Health & Safety measures in line with LSBU policy Reasonable student commuting distance. Internship requirements
University manages interviews & matches learner to their requirements Students from high practical content courses and attend skills management workshops prior to placement 3 month placement easy to commit to for a defined short term project. Learners work independently on instruction and without close supervision Good communication skills and preference for previous work experience even if not in the same sector SMEs Expectations
The economic climate did not easily justify taking in interns. Employers concerned that responsibility for the learner rested entirely with them. SMEs were genuinely surprised that learners could add value to their organisation. Previous experiences with FE but none with HE, required building confidence over a long term. Alleviating the risks associated with having an unskilled trainee on a short term project.
Unusual to include employers in the direct assessment of undergraduate programmes. Ideals about consistency and accountability in assessment do not readily admit the inclusion of external agency. The alignment of outcomes and practices for industrially relevant project modules with industrial requirements and expectations. Integrating Industrial Expertise into Delivery and Assessment - Brunel University,
MSc/MEng aerospace design project serves as a conduit for industrial collaboration Industrial Partners I.prepare design brief. II.provide specialised lectures to complement the main syllabus Preliminary design is critically reviewed by a panel of industrial and academic specialists. A Final Report is compiled and submitted by each learner post review The project assessment and process is evaluated by the expert panel Strong reliance on alumni The Collaboration in Outline
Continuous dialogue with academia is:- I.essential for shared vision for the future. II.critical to improving the quality of graduates matching employer requirements. Focused activity of this kind enables sustained collaboration Industry inform the development of course material The learner gains valuable experience real world scenario and the expectations of industry Industry gain the chance to view potential talent when they know poorly informed decisions in recruiting can be costly
Industrially relevant experiential learning is difficult to provide on campus and is usually met through work experience No on-going ‘new builds’ where graduates can take placements to learn about the regulatory on site issues. Need to attract graduates to this specialised area was considered a priority 5 years ago. The Nuclear Island - Simulated Industrial Practice – Imperial College
Consultations in 2009 led to the outline development of an experiential module in nuclear new build construction Designed for both university undergraduates and employer apprentice CPD. Providing industrially relevant experiences informs career choices. Aim to provide a ‘real world’ experience in a simulated scaled down practical challenge Place demands on the learners technical knowledge, communication, planning and meta-cognitive capabilities Deliverable in a short time frame and fit into undergraduate programmes or as an add on.
The civil engineering module was piloted at the Constructionarium in 2010 The pilot was supported financially and resourced by John Doyle Construction Emphasis is on regulatory compliance and build quality Mix of taught competences and Problem based experiential learning
Extending the nuclear island, a process pilot plant was built at Bridgewater College between March and June 2013 Learners from Imperial College, UWE, Derby, Southampton and Aston and Doosan took part The learning environment placed similar demands on the learners as the civil engineering module
Short, intensive, scaled down industrially relevant projects can provide learners with valuable experiences The material and technical support of employers in activities is a crucial factor in this level of provision
Learners were asked to rate the difficulty of the experience. Some indicated difficulties in propositional knowledge. "With no practical experience, knowing how to get the end result was hard”. “Wiring 3 phase and all the instrumentation cable; all the paperwork”. “Calculations for water used”. Other responses indicate difficulty in problem space definition. “The beginning, how to start solving the problem”. “How to start the whole programme”. “The design part. it was hard to map the cabling. Routes were okayed and then changed at the last minute”. Others indicated experiences relating to employee effectiveness. “Leading a team". “Preparing the correct documents and planning to do all the jobs”; “The presentation. It was nerve-wracking. Starting was also difficult with no idea what we were doing”. “The understanding of project management and working under pressure”.
When asked whether they would recommend the course to a friend 100% of respondents said yes, indicating they had valued the experience. “A great experience and opportunity for hands-on experience, project management, health and safety and team work” “It is a good and very helpful activity as an awareness into the nuclear industry.” “It’s a rude awakening to some people as a lot of students don't realise the user side of a project” “It's a good experience for uni students as there's lots of practical involved” “It was a good way to gain management skills. It was also useful to gain understanding of the design challenges that can be faced”