The Australian Council of Engineering Deans (ACED) has released the results of a recent study as part of the Engineering 2035 Project, a national review of engineering education.
The Engineering 2035 Project explores the practices and methods used for educating professional engineering students, and makes recommendations on how educators and universities can move forward.
Approximately 122,000 engineering students were enrolled in 35 public universities offering engineering programs in Australia in 2019. Around 50,000 of those students were enrolled in professional engineering degrees, and roughly 17 per cent were women.
The report states: “Engineering encompasses a broader range than ever before of areas of practice, specialisations, and interfaces with other disciplines, professions and society.” It predicts that engineering will become increasingly diverse, complex and multi-disciplinary.
Key findings include:
- Australia needs to provide sufficient engineering graduates to meet national needs
- Insufficient women enrol in engineering courses, along with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students
- A greater emphasis needs to be put on the practical side of engineering education
- Potential students are motivated to solve “real-world” problems and want to see that engineering practice addresses societal needs
- School systems need to promote the diversity in careers that engineering offers
- Global best practice needs to be uniform across university curriculums
- The Australian engineering industry has shown a great capacity for change throughout the pandemic, with a new shift to online learning.
More information about the Engineering 2035 Project is available here.