Article appearing in both the Ludlow & Tenbury Wells Advertiser and the Hereford Times. Dated 05.09.16
An innovative new course proposed for Hereford’s university has been revealed which aims to attract a broader range of students and more women.
The New Model in Technology & Engineering (NMiTE) has unveiled its outline curriculum for when it opens its doors to the first 300 students at a purpose-built city centre campus in Hereford in September 2019.
The academic year will include less holidays and the students will work to solve problem-based projects, with as many as possible contributed by industry.
Importantly, maths and physics A Levels will not be required as these will be taught as part of the projects.
David Sheppard, co-leader of the development team, said: “NMiTE will radically change the way engineering is taught in Britain to help tackle the growing shortage of graduate engineers, especially those with the broad range of additional applied analytical thinking, innovation, interpersonal and leadership skills that employers seek.
“We’ll be on the lookout for the brightest and most tenacious sixth-formers, with an A and two Bs as a minimum.
“We’ll also be looking to bring in those who are currently excluded, such as the many experienced engineers in the military and also women, who often do not take A Levels in maths and physics.”
The academic year will be 46 weeks, which means it will be completed in three years, rather than the current four and a half years.
There will no lectures, apart from occasional notable external visiting speakers and only two hours of seminars each week.
Each academic year will have about 13 three-week blocks, with each block involving up to 30 students in groups of five working to solve problem-based projects.
Professor Peter Goodhew, a leading member of NMiTE’s curriculum panel and an authority on teaching engineering, said: “NMiTE is delighted to unveil the most radical engineering curriculum in the world. Individually, each element has been successfully tried at various enterprising institutions in Britain and the US. However, no institution, not even the leading-edge Olin College of Engineering in the USA, has brought all of these innovations together.”
NMiTE’s AIMLED programme will treat engineering education not as the acquisition of a body of knowledge but as an engagement in the process of engineering, based on creativity, design and innovation.
Professor Kel Fidler, a key member of NMiTE’s curriculum team, added: “The current way undergraduate engineering is taught has been likened to a long death-march of maths and physics, with many talented students falling by the wayside.
“The proposed NMITE curriculum radically shakes up the whole philosophy behind the teaching of engineering, which currently mistakenly treats it largely as the application of science and maths.”
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