UCL Centre for Engineering Education


Bringing Life to our Engineering Curricula

The international movement towards curriculum renewal in Engineering programmes as well as the sociopolitical call for transformation in South African higher education provides impetus for re-imagining the way that we educate engineers. Integrated curriculum frameworks have recently been shown to be effective at producing graduates who are responsive to sustainability goals, contributors to their communities, and who become leaders in their individual fields.

Bringing life to engineering curricula” is a multidisciplinary and multi-stakeholder collaboration between a number of academic institutions in South Africa and the United Kingdom, funded by a grant from the Royal Academy of Engineering. In this project, the goal is to understand the constraints as well as opportunities around developing integrated curriculum frameworks for engineering education in South Africa. Through the cooperation and participation of multiple South African engineering institutions we will share and build on our experiences of integrated projects and curriculum renewal. By working together, we aim to overcome some of the limitations present when institutions attempt curricular reform independently.

The project consists of three phases that include workshops that will be open to all South African engineering educators. In the first phase of the project, we will develop a framework for implementing an integrated curriculum in engineering programs within the South African context. For phase two, the goal will be to implement integrated curricular approaches as pilot projects within engineering faculties. In the final phase, the team will develop a training program for staff to become expert facilitators of active integrated learning.

Funding: Royal Academic of Engineering, Transforming Systems through Partnership Programme, Newton Fund.
Lead: Dr Lelanie Smith, University of Pretoria
Timeframe: April 2021 - April 2023
Partners: University of Pretoria, University of Cape Town, Vaal University of Technology (VUT), South African Society of Engineering Education (SASEE), University of Johannesburg.