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A regional university perspective on engineering education of multi - cultural freshman students from South Pacific countries

Ram, Krishnil R. and Sharan, Roneel and Ahmed, Mohammed R. (2013) A regional university perspective on engineering education of multi - cultural freshman students from South Pacific countries. [Conference Proceedings]

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Of late, there is a growing need for quality engineers who have the ability to solve complex engineering problems with reasonable knowledge of ethics and economics. This has led many universities to pursue accreditation by professional engineering bodies. While the accreditation process installs a standardized system of quality teaching, it is important that the engineering entrants have a degree of understanding that allows implementation of quality teaching methods. This study looks at the performance of first year engineering students in a bid to identify major issues that students face in a Bachelor of Engineering program. The learning of students in the School of Engineering and Physics at the University of the South Pacific is influenced by interactions of at least 12 different cultures from the 12 member countries of the university. The study looks at how students perform across cultures in the first year mechanical engineering courses, mainly engineering mechanics and engineering graphics & design. The general trend over the last five years shows that while the student numbers in the program have been increasing, student performance in one course seems to be improving but declining in the other; the two courses differ considerable in contents, required skill sets, and assessment methodologies. The study also presents possible reasons for the varied performance by considering issues such as cultural and academic backgrounds, use of teaching tools and resources, and revisions to the course and program and looks at how multi-cultural engineering education can be improved. The number of female students taking up engineering as their major is also looked at and positive trends are seen with female participation increasing from 7.6% in 2008 to 13.9% in 2013.

Item Type: Conference Proceedings
Subjects: T Technology > TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery
Divisions: Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment (FSTE) > School of Engineering and Physics
Depositing User: M. Rafiuddin Ahmed
Date Deposited: 24 Mar 2014 02:46
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2016 00:54

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