We’ve still got a mountain to climb but the feedback we’ve been getting for our ‘White Paper’ on our engineering curriculum has definitely given us a “second wind”! With a leading article in The Times calling our approach “a timely burst of new ideas for the university sector” and supportive letters to the editor, we at NMiTE (Herefordshire’s new engineering university) are greatly encouraged by the response to the publication of our approach, dubbed, by one of its creators: “pretty disruptive and radical.”
What’s made the headlines is our plan to offer an accelerated Masters degree course in three years rather than four, abandoning lectures in favour of seminars and project-based learning. We’re also seeking to charge annual fees of £12,000 for a 46 (vs. 32) week year which provides longer periods for block teaching and industrial experience and means students will enter employment after graduation one year early.
The coverage and comments coincide with the detailed explanation of our Accelerated Integrated Masters Liberal Engineering Degree (AIMLED). This fundamentally different approach, developed to engage students in the process of engineering, is based on creativity, design and innovation, the “distilled quintessence of engineering”.
The degree course will be presented in terms of four principal themes: Feeding the World; Shaping the Future; Living Safely and Living Sustainably. These address current global challenges and we believe they will appeal to prospective students.
We also think students will see the many advantages of an accelerated degree. Accommodation arrangements will be simpler, with reduced costs as a result. Without long vacations, educational momentum can be maintained and our approach will help to overcome any ‘town vs gown’ feel, allowing students a more integrated experience so they can fully immerse themselves in the city, their university and crucially, engineering.