There still remain many challenges to drive further diversity in the field of engineering. Much of the focus so far has been on encouraging a more diverse range of people to apply for engineering degrees and apprenticeship programmes. While this is an important part of the jigsaw, if the biases, privilege and culture which this diverse cohort encounter in these programmes are not challenged and modified this work may well be in vein.
Universities have worked hard on their outreach and engagement programmes, pointing a spotlight in A-level physics teaching, careers advice and exposure to engineering in schools. However, far too rarely have we turned the spotlight on ourselves and questioned the culture and curricula of our own programmes.
Is the culture of the programme encouraging and supportive of those from different backgrounds? Does the curriculum we teaching promote inclusivity? Are the modes of delivery and assessment we use biased towards a particular group? Are all of the cohort gaining the same opportunities to develop their practical skills?
These are not easy questions to answer, nor are there always obvious solutions. However, they are issues that we must face and address head on.
The UCL Centre for Engineering Education, the Royal Academy of Engineering and Katalytic have produced a report, based on the experiences of leading engineering education practitioners worldwide on some of the approaches that can be deployed to address these issues. Centered around four pillar; Culture, Curriculum, Delivery and Practice, the report seeks to engage educators in a reflection on how their practice offers an inclusive environment to a diverse cohort.
The report will be launched on the 9th July at the Royal Academic of Engineering as the centrepiece of a two-day symposium looking at practical experience of designed inclusive engineering curricula.
Further details can be found at: