Employers Influencing Educational Change

Employers play an important part in the Engineering e2e programme. They have identified what industry is looking for in engineering graduates, and collaborate more with engineering educators to enhance the student learning experience.

A pilot sponsored degree programme

24 July 2017

This case study, which follows the Fostering our Future case study, looks at the development of a pilot sponsored degree programme for New Zealand.  Employers played a key role in developing a new standard in Infrastructure Asset Management for the pilot.

A pilot sponsored degree programme

Fostering our Future

27 June 2017

Our new case study looks at the IPWEA (Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia) response to a shortage of engineers in the public works sector. This includes collaborating with tertiary educators on a pilot degree programme and connecting with initiatives which promote STEM careers to school students.


Regional Engineering Education Hubs – literature review

31 May 2017

In the 2015 report Creating Engineers – Climbing the Educational Staircase, Dr Greg Frater and Associate Professor Nigel Grigg identified engineering education hubs as a solution to addressing ‘supply chain’ issues within engineering education.

They have since conducted a literature review and considered two examples of engineering education hubs. 80% of young people in Austria choose a Vocational and Educational Training (VET) course after completing compulsory schooling. The dual apprenticeship/school-based VET system gives them skill certification and access to higher education, and results in low levels of youth unemployment.

 This model is characterised by early differentiation into distinct career pathways but with ‘permeability’ between those pathways, including bridging courses where necessary. A key feature is the continuous revision and upgrading of school curricula to ensure relevance and compatibility. However, given that this system is fully embedded in that society and culture it does not lend itself readily to replication in New Zealand.

In Ireland, an important feature of higher education is the collaborative behaviour that has already developed between universities, institutes of technologies and other related parties. Regional clusters focus on workplace learning, achieved through collaboration between industry and educational institutions. The cluster approach involves joint programme planning, collaborative research and outreach initiatives, agreements on mutual recognition and progression, and joint strategies for advancing regional economic and social development.

The authors note that students need clear pathways for career planning, and that a contributing factor to low rates of young people in tertiary study is the lack of clarity around the outcomes of various pathways. “By whatever means these pathways are achieved, key components of successful engineering education programmes achieve clear and flexible transitions between school, vocational education and higher education direct to reliable employment opportunities.”

They conclude with the observation that the Austrian and Irish models favour collaboration over competition, and that the implicit goal of their Engineering e2e-commissioned research is to achieve a basis for collaboration between all stakeholders in New Zealand engineering education.


Case studies about employers involved in engineering education

19 May 2017