In 2008, the MSc Professional Engineering programme was launched. This programme allows working engineers to use real work projects for academic study purposes instead of having to do classroom based study. Whilst doing these projects the engineers have to integrate theory with practice to demonstrate high levels of professional engineering competence.Since its inception, Aston University now has students undertaking the programme throughout the UK and countries such as Angola and Indonesia.
As a centre for engineering Education Excellence in China, Beijing University of Technology has a national reputation for innovation and expertise in engineering education. To launch a Global Professional Engineers’ programme, Beijing University of Technology and Aston University invited a selected group of universities and organisations from across the world to come together.
The aims of the Symposium were:
• To develop an international engineering programme to suit the needs of industry for the 21st century.
• To develop mechanisms for universities to work together on global collaboration for delivering work based learning professional engineering programmes.
• To explore the best methods and techniques of delivering engineering education excellence.
The Symposium was well attended by 126 delegates from a range of universities from across the world and interested companies from China. Aston University were represented by Alison Halstead, Pro Vice Chancellor, Stewart Comfort, Director of International Partnerships, Bill Glew, Director MSc Professional Engineering and other members of the MSc Professional Engineering Team
There were 8 international keynote speakers from organisations and universities in China, Spain, Australia, and the Philippines.
A planning meeting was held at the end of the two days with approximately 40 people attending from Beijing University of Technology, Aston University, Tianjin University, Cardiff University, Middlesex University, Valladolid University and CQ University. Three companies were also represented.
It was agreed that a global alliance of universities and other organisations should be created and that Aston University should collaborate with Beijing University on:
• Running an Aston MSc Professional Engineering programme in China using BJUT staff.
• A possible summer training programme for BJUT staff at Aston.
• Student Exchange
• Joint research opportunities.
A video conference will be held in November 2011 to start putting plans in place.