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IOE research centre publishes report on making engineering education more inclusive

13 July 2018

Engineering educators in all higher education establishments should develop a five-year action plan for inclusive engineering education, according to a report published today.

Engineering students

The report offers a practical look at how diversity impacts on engineering and offers universities strategies for change that they can use in designing their courses. Published by UCL Institute of Education (IOE) and UCL Engineering's jointly-run Centre for Engineering Education, and the Royal Academy of Engineering, it calls for professional bodies to commit resources to address the knowledge and information gaps for inclusion. Recommendations also include allocating funding for benchmarking inclusive education best practice.

The recommendations focus heavily on UCL Engineering's award-winning undergraduate teaching framework, the Integrated Engineering Programme (IEP).

The report was launched at the Inclusive Engineering Symposium in London. Guests at the launch included Shadow Minister for Industrial Strategy, Science & Innovation, Chi Onwurah MP, herself a chartered engineer.

The report proposes a model that breaks down all the elements of creating and delivering an engineering education to help departments to find positive solutions and to provide ideas for further consideration.

Around 15,000 UK residents graduated from UK engineering courses in 2015/16: 14.6% of these students were female and 26.1% were from black and ethnic minority backgrounds. However, previous Royal Academy of Engineering research has highlighted unequal employment outcomes for engineering graduates both from ethnic minority backgrounds and from newer universities attended by less affluent students.

Professor John Mitchell, Co-Director of the Centre for Engineering Education, commented that "this report provides university departments with practical actions that will help them create inclusive environments so that all students gain their full potential from their educational experiences in engineering."

Professor David Guile, Head of the Department of Education, Practice and Society and Co-Director of the Centre for Engineering Education, said:

"The report will be a major source of inspiration for schools and further education colleges who are doing their utmost to overcome the types of stereotyping in the media that undermines the engineering professions' commitment to fostering greater diversity."

Media contact

Rowan Walker, UCL Media Relations
T: +44 (0)20 3108 8515
E: rowan.walker@ucl.ac.uk

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Mary Hinkley, © UCL Digital Media