Knowledge Expansion in Engineering Education: Engineering Technology as an Alternative
Abstract. The current and rising challenges in engineering education demand graduate engineers who are well-prepared to provide innovative solutions as technical specialists, system integrators and change agents. Realizing the importance of producing a highly competent manpower, the Malaysian Government has put considerable pressure to the universities to produce engineers who are competitive in the global market. Hence, this assignment of developing a highly competence engineering technologist workforce in support of the government policy highlights issues pertaining to the development and offering of practical-oriented programs as a knowledge expansion in engineering education at universities as envisioned by the Malaysian Government.Â This paper evaluates the current scenario and examines the application-oriented programs of engineering technology education as practice in local institutions in Malaysia in comparisons to some universities abroad. It also investigates the challenges faced by university management in dealing with issues concerning national quality assurance and accreditation pertaining to the engineering technology education programs. Specifically, it analyzes the faculty planning of pedagogies in term of hands-on skills in teaching and learning. A key conclusion of this research is that Malaysian universities need to evaluate its engineering technology education strategies if they aim for quality assurance and accreditation to be established and aspire for successful attempts towards the creation of the requisite knowledge workers that Malaysia needs.
Keywords: application-oriented, engineering education, engineering technology, hands-on skills, knowledge expansion
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