University of Warwick (UNITED KINGDOM)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN13 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Pages: 5162-5169
ISBN: 978-84-616-3822-2
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 1-3 July, 2013
Location: Barcelona, Spain
There is a gap in hybrid vehicle, automotive electrical / electronic and embedded systems expertise in the UK. There is a demand for new and different skills than those traditionally associated with the industry.
Traditional models of taught undergraduate programmes with relatively narrow disciplines are deficient. The industry’s need is at the boundaries and overlap of traditional disciplines. Recently qualified engineering graduates need additional specialist training to impact significantly such growth areas. Until recently this remained a significant challenge to automotive companies in the UK.
The disparity between Higher Education provision and business requirements is well documented. Government initiatives have sought to reduce this gap through Sector Skills Councils, Lifelong Learning Networks, etc. WMG also observed a consistent demand from industrial partners for specialised, state-of-the-art skills training. This led to the development of 1 to 3 day industry facing courses in 2006 for Hybrid Technologies and Automotive Embedded Systems. Content was developed in collaboration with industrial partners to ensure impact and relevance. Universal positive feedback from participants and sponsors demonstrated the value of such an approach.
Alongside other academic institutions, WMG developed a unique portfolio of taught postgraduate courses tailored to industry needs. These form the core of Jaguar Land Rover’s Technical Accreditation Scheme (TAS). Employees can mix and match a variety of Master’s level modules according to their needs. Assessment is through a post module assignment and credits can be put towards a number of tangible qualifications including a Master’s degree.
TAS provides the platform to extend and deliver high impact, relevant course content. Success lies in the integration of personal experience and knowledge of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). It provides relevant context for the theory and satisfies both academic outcomes and real-world needs for usable skills.
Proactive engagement with SMEs begins at the onset of the module development process; from capturing learning objectives, developing learning content, defining assessment tools, joint industrial/academic course delivery, assessment and post-module quality reviews.
A number of challenges exist ranging from the experience and background of cohorts, understanding the level of pre-requisite learning required and balancing the teaching versus training paradigm.
The success of the scheme has led to it being opened to the UK manufacturing and engineering supply chain employers through the Advanced Skills Accreditation Scheme (ASAS). Additionally there is much interest from growing international automotive industries to create similar models of teaching excellence. The challenge is how weak industrial academic collaborative relationship is addressed.
To make a significant long term impact means providing access to disciplines earlier through schools and colleges. The WMG Academy for Young Engineers at the University of Warwick will be a new state-of-the-art school providing young people interested in engineering access to realising their ambitions.
The TAS scheme provides a rich source of knowledge for future university taught programmes as well as a platform for new subjects such as High Voltage Systems, Battery Technologies, Hardware-in-the-loop testing, Model Based Systems Engineering for Embedded Systems and Modelling and Simulation for Autocoding.
Industry, teaching, training, CPD, Employers.