20 Sep 2014Draft papers
20 Oct 2014Notification of acceptance
31 Oct 2014Final Paper Due
08 Dec 2014Conference Opening

Craig Watterson
Victoria University of Wellington
eMail: craig.watterson@vuw.ac.nz

Keynote Speakers

The keynote plenary sessions are common for AAEE 2014 and TALE 2014.

Professor Alison Halstead
Sponsored by AKO Aotearoa

Photo of Alison Halstead

Alison gained a Physics degree and Materials Engineering PhD at Imperial College. Her early career was with Tube Investments before returning to Higher Education. She has held academic posts at Brunel University, Coventry University, the Open University and the University of Wolverhampton, before joining Aston University as the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Learning and Teaching Innovation in 2007. At Aston she created a new Centre for Learning, Innovation and Professional Practice bringing together widening participation, learning technologies, peer mentoring and pedagogical research and in her role as Head of Quality and Standards, oversaw the successful institutional quality audit.

Alison led the development of the Aston University Engineering Academy for 14–19 year olds from the outset and for the last year of the School’s development relinquished her learning and teaching port-folio to support the national creation of University Technical Colleges as the Director for University Partnerships, at the Baker Dearing Trust. In 2011 she chaired a Skills Commission Inquiry into Higher Level Technical Skills and City and Guilds recently awarded her an Honorary Fellowship for her national work on Apprenticeships, University Technical Colleges and High Level Technical Skills.

In September 2012 Alison returned full-time to the University as the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Strategic Academic Developments, currently working on the creation of the Aston-led Vietnam UK University in DaNang and is Director of the UK-ASEAN Research Hub. She is a member of The City & Guilds Council, a Board Member of EU Skills, Trustee and Chair of the Aston University Engineering Academy Board of Governors and a patron for Birmingham Children’s University.

Innovative Curriculum Partnerships between Universities and Employers to enhance the student interest in careers in technical disciplines.

Most governments have recognised the importance of technical skills for the growth of the economy. It is however becoming increasingly difficult for employers to find the engineering talent they need and many are questioning whether universities across the world are producing graduates with the required aptitude, attitude and appropriate skills. The challenge we all share is how to encourage greater numbers of people to engage and become skilled at the higher technical levels, degree level and above.

This keynote will start by briefly looking at this global challenge before focussing in detail on the situation in the UK. Drawing on the results of a Royal Academy of Engineering survey of major industrial employers, small businesses and university engineering departments, it will highlight the main messages from employers to educators and set out their required skills for future economic growth.

The presentation will then focus specifically on the engineering student experience at Aston University, where most local and international students spend a year of their degree programme working in industry, and the benefits of this approach to the student and employer. Some aspects of the degree programmes that Aston University has developed with major UK employers will also be highlighted.

The main part of the talk will introduce one of the latest UK Government initiatives aimed at encouraging more young people to develop the skills and passion for careers in engineering. This is the creation of University-led Technical Colleges. In the last three years the Government has approved 50 as regional centres of excellence in engineering education. Using the Aston University Engineering Academy for 14-19 year olds, which opened it September 2012, as the example, some of the unique and innovative aspects of the curriculum and approach will be discussed. The project has brought University staff and students together with employers and teachers to optimise the engineering education that they receive. The resulting curriculum is authentic and exciting and expands the Aston University model of problem-based learning and placements into the school environment. This approach is seen as one of the ways to increase progression from school into technical subjects whether at University or work. The benefits and impact of opening these new schools will be discussed along with some of the on-going challenges.

Professor Roger Hadgraft
Sponsored by Otago

Photo of Roger Hadgraft

Roger Hadgraft is Deputy Dean, L&T in the School of Engineering and Technology at CQ University. He is an ALTC Discipline Scholar in Engineering and ICT, completing the Academic Standards Project during 2009-10. He has led curriculum change in several engineering disciplines, with a focus on problem/project-based learning (PBL) at RMIT, Monash and Melbourne Universities. He is a Governing Board member of the International Research in Engineering Education Network and a Past President of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education.

Reinventing Engineering Curricula for Personalised Learning

Universities are facing unprecedented pressures. Deregulation is looming as a very significant threat in Australia. Government is also exerting greater accountability through TEQSA and the emerging threshold standards. Students must also be wondering why higher education costs so much when they have to sit in classes of 250 and contact hours have seen a continual decline over the last 20 years.

Employers are also wondering about value when graduates spend three or four years at university only to emerge poorly prepared for work. Finally, educational technology is offering alternatives that may well strip away the cash cow of large undergraduate classes because many can be easily delivered through online learning and assessment at a fraction of the cost. These courses are ripe for the taking by entrepreneurial RTOs and publishers operating on an international scale.

What is a university’s value proposition in 2014? Once upon a time, it was access to privileged information and knowledge. With the rise of the Internet, this is no longer the case. The focus must shift to the student experience. Universities must deliver a rich, personal experience to each of its customers – not the kind of mass consumer good it has been offering over the last 20 years.

There needs to be a fundamental shift to a more personal experience for each student. This requires a personal skills assessment when they enter the university and a portfolio approach to enhancing their skills through a rich set of projects and online modules. This will balance the teaching of the knowledge of the discipline with teaching the practice of the discipline. This will rely on access to online learning and the use of next generation learning spaces. These new curricula will be challenging for both staff and students, merging teaching with research methods, to graduate a new generation ready for the knowledge economy.

Tim Fowler

Photo of Tim Fowler

Tim Fowler is Chief Executive of the Tertiary Education Commission, a position he has held since April 2013. He was previously Deputy Chief Executive, Quality Assurance at the New Zealand Qualifications Authority. Tim has held management positions in Australia and New Zealand in both the private and university sectors after starting his career in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. Tim has an Honours Degree from Victoria University, a Masters from the East-West Center and the University of Hawaii, and executive education from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Growing the engineering education to employment pipeline: Reflections and future directions

In 2012 New Zealand set an ambitious goal to significantly grow our engineering talent. Much has been learnt about the key issues educators, industry and government must overcome to produce the skills that the engineering industry and our economy needs. Tertiary Education Commission Chief Executive Tim Fowler will discuss these experiences and the new initiatives we have developed in collaboration with educators and industry to deliver on this goal.