Forecasting future information sources provision for engineering higher education

Tim McLernon, Mick Carragher

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    We would argue that the UK Higher Education (HE) system has not reacted adequately to accommodate the significant changes in HE that have occurred over the last two decades. The student body has changed in terms of the huge increase in numbers; the introduction of top-up fees means that many students have to work to fund their studies and, as a consequence, their teaching and learning expectations are different. Concurrently, educational methods have been affected by policy impositions such as modularisation and semesterisation. The continuing tension between research and teaching functions, university auditing, in its variety of formats, and the regulatory framework within universities have changed the teaching and learning environment. A significant proportion of undergraduate engineering students are unprepared for the current HE environment and are lacking in the necessary study skills and discipline required for independent learning. Students now want information conveniently and immediately; e.g.: from an audit of engineering undergraduate student coursework bibliographies, it is clear that “Google” is becoming the first and prime port of call for information provision. Based on research from one UK university, this paper reports on the changing engineering higher education environment, the changes that have taken place in the engineering academic library over recent years, and the concurrent changing needs and expectations of the engineering student. The aim of this paper is to consider these changes to forecast how innovations in information and communications technologies might impact on the functions and purposes of the academic library and change higher education for undergraduate engineering students over the next five years.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Education and Research 2007, ICEER 2007 3rd – 7th December 2007, Melbourne, Australia.
    PublisherInternational Network for Engineering Education and Research
    ISBN (Print)978-0-9741252-7-X
    Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 7 Dec 2007

    Bibliographical note

    Paper presented at the International Conference on Engineering Education and Research 2007, [ICEER 2007] with the major theme of “Innovations in Information and Communication Technologies”; hosted by the International Network of Engineering Education and Research (INEER), and published in the Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Education and Research 2007, ICEER 2007 3rd – 7th December 2007, Melbourne, Australia.
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    • academic library
    • engineering higher education
    • forecasting
    • impact of ICT.


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