The engineering courses offered by Mcast are currently still being restructured to ensure they are “on equal footing” with those offered at the University of Malta, the Chamber of Engineers has insisted.
The chamber’s comments came in the wake of a Times of Malta report earlier this week revealing that a group of some 150 engineers, calling themselves the Warranted Engineers Action Group (WEAG), have banded together and are mulling legal action against the government’s Engineering Profession Board over warrants handed to Mcast students.
The chamber, a non-governmental organisation, said it noted “with concern” the group’s actions, deeming these as“not being beneficial to the stance of the engineering profession in Malta”.
The WEAG have insisted that a report auditing the programmes offered at both the college and the University had yet to be made public. In light of this, they were also questioning whether the course offered at Mcast was on par with that of the University since, as of September, warrants started being issued to graduates from both institutions.
The chamber said that it had issued a position paper following the report by the Accreditation Agency Specialised in Accrediting Degree Programmes in Engineering, Informatics, the Natural Sciences and Mathematics (ASIIN), outlining a series of observations and requests.
The profession needs a solid academic base
While the course offered by Mcast was split into two components of two consecutive years, the one offered by the University involved the attainment of qualifications over four consecutive years, the chamber noted, adding that this raised certain concerns.
“Discrepancy in the attainment of academic qualifications leads to a deficit in public safety, especially that concerning the safety of employees or self-employed persons and which includes also the protection of recipients of services or even a third party. It was, therefore, the opinion of the chamber that the issue of public safety should be considered a justifiable measure to eliminate such deficit in the attainment of academic qualifications through an engineering degree offered by Mcast,” the body said.
Mcast, the chamber said, should amend the present conditional requirements relating to the engineering courses to be in conformity with those established by the Engineering Profession Board, so that engineering degrees issued by both the University and Mcast will be put “on equal footing”.
“We need to move away from the concept that engineering can also be considered a vocational degree because due to the complexities of modern-day technology, the profession needs a solid academic base that is only given through proper academic teaching,” the chamber went on.
The chamber claimed that the government’s board has already requested that Mcast restructure their engineering degree to make it equivalent to other courses that are already recognised. The review of the course content, it said, was being managed by the board through the nomination of two independent experts.
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