Hush, M. and Weidmann, G. W.
What’s this got to do with engineering? – getting engineering students to think about personal and career development.
In: Engineering Education conference - Innovation, good practice and research in engineering education, 7-9 June 2004, Wolverhampton.
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Engineering students, particularly those who study part-time, often have no clear picture of where they are headed and why. For many, it’s just the qualification which is their goal: they are reluctant to delve further into their motives and develop broader career aspirations. The benefits of Personal Development Planning are clear, but establishing credible structures requires imagination and commitment.
In 1997 the National Inquiry into Higher Education, chaired by Lord Dearing, recommended the introduction of Progress files. This has evolved into a requirement for Personal Development Planning to be operational across the whole of higher education by 2005/6 generating substantial activity across the HE sector.
This paper shows how Personal Development Planning has been incorporated into the engineering qualifications of the UK’s Open University. More importantly, it relates some of the challenges and experiences that the courses have provoked, particularly in getting engineering students to ‘navel gaze’
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