International Fachhochschule-University Collaboration in the Delivery of a Professionally Accredited MEng Programme

Dennis McKeag, Frank Owens

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    The University of Ulster has, for some years, been operating a joint Masters of Enginering (MEng) degree with the Fachhochschule Augsburg and the Fachhochschule Kempten. In all three organizations there is commonality of programmes in the final four semesters leading to the award of the fully accredited MEng degree. Students can therefore graduate with the German qualification of Dip Ing (FH) and the British MEng qualification. Approximately 46 countries have signed up to the Bologna agreement, which aims for transferability of qualifications across member countries. This has a significant implication for engineering degree programmes across Europe where there are traditionally two types of undergraduate engineering degree each in general of three years duration, the vocational degree and the academic degree. In general only the academic degree permits students to advance to two years further study leading to the award of the professionally recognised qualification of Master of Engineering. The knowledge taught to students in engineering degrees falls into three categories, scientific which seeks to understand the created environment, technological which seeks to manipulate the created environment, and philosophical which is what is important to people. Fachhochschules traditional teach vocational degrees, those that focus on technology, whereas universities traditionally teach the academic degrees which have their basis in scientific study. However both types of institution teach design which falls into the category of philosophy, and in the context of engineering design embraces both science and technology. This paper will outline how the Fachhochschulen brand of education has successfully merged with the university style of education to produce highly innovative engineering graduates.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalProceedings of the Joint International IGIP-SEFI Annual Conference 2010
    Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 19 Sept 2010

    Bibliographical note

    Reference text: [1] Sorbonne Joint Declaration; Joint Declration on the Harmonization of the Architecture of the European Higher Education System; the four Ministers in charge for France, Germany, Itlay and the United Kingdom; Sorbonne, 25th May, 1998.
    [2] Bologna declaration; The European Higher Education Area; Joint Declaration of the European Min isters of Education; Bologna, 19th June, 1999.
    [3] Bologna Process;
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    [8] IEEE Xplore digital library;
    [9] UK Spec: United Kingdom Standards for Professional Engineering Competence;
    [10] Lienhard, J.H., Engines of our Ingenuity No. 1107: Engineering Education;
    [11] McGrath, D., The Bologna Declaration and Engineering Education in Ireland; Institution of Engineers of Ireland
    [12] Titel Van natuurfilosofie tot natuurwetenschap
    [13] Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Philosophy of Technology
    First published Fri Feb 20, 2009; substantive revision Mon Jun 22, 2009
    [14] Vincenti, W. A. (1990) What engineers know and how they know it: analytical studies from aeronautical history. Baltimore, Md./London: Johns Hopkins University Press.
    [15] McKeag, D., Embedding Creativity and Innovation in the Engineering Curriculum, Proceedings of SEFI Annual Conference 2008, paper 1260 (CD)


    • Design
    • innovaton
    • science
    • technology
    • philosophy
    • creativity


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