How this woman went from being homeless to becoming a top Intel exec shows why you have to chase money sometimes
Business Insider Australia 2 November, 2015
An Intel exec studied engineering because it leads to a job with great money but has continued with it because she loves the industry. Diversity, she says, is incredibly important when it comes to innovation, and more needs to be done to promote engineering careers for female talent. This is a good reminder about emphasising all the rewards and opportunities in engineering to help attract a more diverse range of students.
What really keeps women out of tech
New York Times 10 October, 2015
The author comments on research into why fewer women opt to study Computer Science or Engineering and relates it to her own experience. This makes interesting reading, even for those already committed to making change. It provides an insight into what it can be like for women working within a ‘male’ workplace culture and why it’s not just a case of needing to be “tough enough”.
Picking your major influences your lifetime earnings more than simply getting a degree
The University of Kansas 16 September, 2015
A new study found that graduates majoring in science, technology, engineering or maths achieve higher lifetime earnings that those who studied social science or liberal arts. Emphasising the monetary rewards in studying STEM-related subjects at tertiary level might be a successful strategy for attracting students who might otherwise not consider these fields.
Advancing Women - to provide needed tech sector skills
New Zealand Technology Industry Association July, 2015
This paper looks at the IT skills shortage, increasing the number of women in the industry, and the various skills and talent development initiatives available. It recommends that organisations considering investing in these sorts of sort of programme should first consider what’s currently active, to avoid fragmenting the effort and limiting overall impact. It makes a lot of sense for organisations to look at what’s already working well and how they can be involved, rather than starting something new that replicates other initiatives.
Can a new university close the gender gap in engineering?
The Conversation 12 March, 2015
Set to open in 2017, the New Model in Technology and Engineering will focus on teaching rather than on gaining research funding and aims to admit an equal number of women and men to the programme. The author says they may find it difficult to obtain gender equality, but the approach to teaching engineering and technology may appeal to female students. Some interesting ideas, could any be incorporated into the delivery of engineering education here?
Innovative manufacturers get government skills boost
Gov.UK 27 August, 2015
The UK Commission for Employment and Skills has chosen five organisations to test new ways to develop skills for innovation in manufacturing. Each will run a trial programme expected to yield valuable learning that can be shared across the sector to improve innovation and productivity. Interesting projects being run by industry and educational sectors towards the same goal.
Develop lower-cost pathways to credentials
Strategy Labs 2015
The rising cost of higher education in the US means a tertiary qualification is out of reach for many, with others not completing their study or leaving with a huge debt. Emerging research suggests that lower-cost pathways – such as accelerated programmes or secondary school students completing a two-year qualification – could increase the numbers of students enrolling in and completing a qualification. How do these ideas fit within the New Zealand educational system (where there is already opportunity for secondary school students to take tertiary courses)?
Detroit university to promote college prep at middle-school level
Campus Technology 17 August, 2015
Laurence Technological University in Detroit is pledging scholarship funding and long-term academic support to improve the STEM skills of school students and prepare them for tertiary study. This type of initiative could increase engineering enrolments, but do we have that critical mass of ‘hubs’ for it to work here?
Teachers' bias can hold girls back
The Guardian 29 July, 2015
Time spent in the classroom can affect women’s long-term earning potential, a new study has found, with unconscious bias among some well-meaning teachers having long-lasting effects. Are the concerns raised in this article related to the low numbers of engineering graduates in our country, as shown in our Leaky Pipeline diagram?
This is what engineers actually look like
New Zealand Herald 6 August, 2015
In response to the often-heard comment “You don’t look like an engineer”, female engineers around the world are posting their image on social media with the hashtag #IlookLikeAnEngineer . Reading this article reinforces the need to not only promote diversity in the engineering sector but to also show it.
US millennials know technology but not how to solve problems with it, study says
Education Week, 12 June, 2015
According to a recent study, the US education system isn’t adequately preparing students to use technology for problem-solving. Suggestions for improving the situation, including improving the image of STEM study and careers, are relevant in this country as well.
The Independent 23 June, 2015
Despite the skills shortage, women still account for less than ten percent of the UK engineering sector’s workforce. The National Women in Engineering Day initiative was established in 2014 to inspire girls into engineer. An interesting read about the critical need for greater diversity in the sector which also applies to New Zealand.
Chinese schools get a lesson from Britain
Design and Technology Association 12 January, 2015
CEO Richard Green discusses the Design and Technology Association’s invitation to visit China. “While China has excellent academic results, the British curriculum has the upper hand with design – it’s a shame our Government doesn’t recognise this. Interesting comments about attitudes to the UK Design and Technology curriculum, especially as New Zealand students perceived as “academic” are generally not encouraged to continue with Technology education despite our need for more engineers and innovators.
We have a communication problem in STEM education
Engineering.Com 15 May, 2015
When educators talk about STEM, they should make it fun, engaging, understandable and awe-inspiring, says the author. He comments on how dry STEM classrooms can be, and asks if that’s pushing students away from STEM. The article, however, talks to everyone involved in stem education and careers. It includes examples of people who share the excitement of what they do through simple explanations of their study and/or jobs.
Bridging the gap between university and the 'real world'
Engineers Australia April 2015
Do universities give students and businesses what they actually need? This article looks at changes to the way engineering is being taught, aimed at providing more rounded graduates for industry. The article makes some interesting points about universities adjusting to stay relevant and the benefits of technological advancements such as online education.
Bringing the liberal arts to engineering education
The Chronicle of Higher Education 27 April, 2015
Solving the complex problems of our time requires a multidisciplinary approach. The authors of this article say that integrating the liberal arts in engineering education positions future engineers to be successful at anticipating, defining and solving these problems. They include examples of US engineering programmes which include liberal arts courses with an engineering perspective.
How to attract female engineers
New York Times 27 April, 2015
The key to increasing the number of female engineers may be simple: reframing the goals of engineering research and curricula to be more relevant to societal needs. The author says this solution is an obvious one, and gives examples of engineering programmes which focus on the humanitarian aspects of engineering and have high numbers of women enrolling in their courses.
Why we need learning engineers
The Chronicle of Higher Education 20 April, 2015
Where are our talented, creative, user-centric ‘learning engineers’ – people who understand the research about learning, test it, and apply it to help more students learn more effectively? According to this article, we are missing a job category. If so, is there scope in New Zealand to recognise learning engineers who can apply existing science and generate data to help more students and professors succeed?
Many factors contribute to low share of women in engineering and computing
The Chronicle of Higher Education 26 March, 2015
Gender bias, workplace exclusion and a lack of support structures are some of the factors contributing to the lack of women working in engineering and computing, according to a new report from the American Association of University Women.
While these findings reflect what we’ve read before, they make interesting reading and include recommendations for change.
What degree should you study to become a billionaire?
The Telegraph 25 March, 2015
More than a fifth of the world’s wealthiest people studied engineering at university – almost twice as many billionaires’ degrees as the next field.
Information about the financial rewards might be the hook that gets some students considering a career in engineering.
Why Barbie is holding your girl back
Radio New Zealand National (audio) 24 March, 2015
Alice Brooks was given a saw instead of a Barbie doll and went on from building toys to an engineering degree. With fellow student Bettina Chen she set up Roominate which makes toys targeted at pre-teen girls, allowing them to design, build and wire their own dolls houses. If these types of initiative are the right approach to encouraging young girls into engineering activities, how can we complement them?
UK Engineering – a success story that needs sustaining
Royal Academy of Engineering 2 March, 2015
This report assesses the economic returns of engineering research and postgraduate training, and highlights the contribution of engineering to the nation’s economy and the everyday lives of citizens.
A quick read showing the importance of engineering research to key industry sectors.
We won't get more engineering students by lowering tuition fees
The Guardian 23 February, 2015
The UK’s need for more engineers won’t be fixed by lowering student fees, taking the cap off student numbers or promoting engineering through schools outreach. Instead, according to this article, engineering needs a makeover to reveal its excitement and true value to society.
How much do these comments reflect the situation in New Zealand (where enrolments in technology and engineering have been gradually rising)?
The unexpected reason some in higher ed fear free community colleges
The Hechinger Report 20 February, 2015
Moves in the USA to offer free community college education are causing concern to universities, which already find competition for students an issue and that low numbers transfer from a two-year to four-year degree. This article highlights why we need pathways as part of the engineering offer.
Although the US education system is much more extensive, what can we learn from their experiences?
Why engineering should be a woman's game
BBC News 3 February, 2015
The president of the Royal Academy of Engineering describes how she was inspired to study engineering and why, with a skills shortage and only 7% of engineering professionals in the UK being female, other women need that encouragement to get into engineering.
How similar is this to the New Zealand experience? What more should we be doing to encourage diversity and fill the skills shortage here?
Eight ways to encourage more students to study engineering
The Guardian 20 January, 2015
The Guardian’s Higher Education Network discusses the lack of engineering graduates in the UK and how this might be remedied.
This article is perhaps stating the more obvious, rather than the novel, but it is a stark reminder how much can be done to improve the number of engineering graduates and how hard it has been to actually implement these changes.
Women overcoming hurdles in science
The Wireless (audio) 6 January, 2015
A conversation with New Zealand women who have excelled in STEM areas, and the barriers they faced in getting there. While the problem of women in STEM areas (or the lack thereof) is not a new issue, it is interesting that the situation is so slow to change.
Are we listening to women (those in STEM and those who are not) enough, and how seriously are we letting what women say influence our strategies to help them into STEM areas?
What we know about transfer
Community College Research Center January, 2015
Although this report is not specifically about engineering, it considers the rates at which students transfer from two-year to four-year institutions, their outcomes, credit loss and the benefits of transferrals.
Are there any lessons we can learn about pathways or transfers in regard to engineering qualifications in New Zealand?
Embrace engineering's creative side to fix skills crisis
BBC News 21 November, 2014
A report on Sir John O’Reilly’s call for the engineering profession to embrace the arts (and fine art especially), as given in a lecture to the Royal Institution in London. Is Sir John right to suggest that the neglect of fine arts and humanities in engineering education is not only hindering the quality of our engineers but actually turning off potential engineering students who would otherwise find engineering attractive?
Top universities forced to introduce remedial maths classes
The Telegraph 24 July, 2012
A surprisingly low number of UK Biology, Economics, Chemistry and Engineering undergraduates did A-level maths, and many of those who actually did have poor mathematical ability.
Is there a similar situation in New Zealand, or is mathematics (especially NCEA Level 3 calculus and statistics) more popular and better taught here?
Sorting out engineering
Scribd, Kel Fidler 21 May, 2014
Professor Kel Fidler’s report covers: the need to encourage more school students to consider engineering; the cultural shift needed to overcome the prejudice against new universities (polytechnics); and overcoming media ignorance which often informs public perceptions.
With similar challenges in New Zealand around perceptions of engineering, are any of the professor's suggestions things we could apply here?
Tomorrow's Engineers Week 2015
Tomorrow’s Engineers is an organisation that promotes engineering as a career choice, primarily to young British students. Tomorrow’s Engineers Week 2014 was an event targeted towards changing the perception of engineering among 11 to 14 year-olds, through in-school presentations and workshops, work experience days with engineers and a heap of other activities.
How successful are awareness weeks in promoting engineering careers to the next generation? And if they are, how could we look to implement them in New Zealand?
Georgia Tech Women in Engineering programme
Georgia Institute of Technology website 2015
The Georgia Tech Women in Engineering programme aims to recruit top female students into engineering and ensure their retention in the courses.
This is a great-looking programme and a clever response to the worry that the very ‘male’ environments of engineering schools are turning off women: instead of changing all engineering schools to become more female-friendly, set-up ad hoc female-focused engineering programmes. But is this response the right one?
Background and issues
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