The course aimed at making Mcast engineering graduates eligible for a warrant should be first approved by an “independent foreign body” before starting, the Chamber of Engineers has insisted.
The issue with the warrant made headlines again this week after the Chamber expressed its dismay that despite an agreement with the Engineering Board, requirements for Mcast students to obtain a warrant remained inferior to those demanded from University students.
Contacted about the matter, the board insisted that the course was formulated with the intention of “addressing the lacuna” that existed in the study units offered in the Mcast course.
It also insisted that “there is a mutual understanding” between the college and the board that should any of the courses, including the pre-warrant, need changes, these would be implemented.
“The process of implementations made in the Accreditation Agency Specialised in Accrediting Degree Programmes in Engineering, Informatics, the Natural Sciences and Mathematics (ASIIN) reports is being presently undertaken and in the coming days a public call will be issued to commission external international reviewers to ascertain that both the new BEng course structure and that of the pre-warrant qualification course is full in line with their recommendations made in those reports and reach the desired objective of past graduates reaching the level established by the EPB to obtain the warrant of engineer,” the board said.
The board and Chamber had agreed that past Mcast graduates should bridge any deficiencies through targeted bridging studies comprised of 60 credits at level six with an examination-based assessment. However, this was halved to 30 so the total of credits would be 150, compared to the university’s 240 credits, the chamber has insisted.
In its reaction, the Chamber again reiterated that having a course with only 30 credits at level six is “completely unacceptable”.
“There is a lot at stake for Maltese society if the necessary standard of engineering education is not attained. The economy, safety, health and well-being and quality of life of Maltese citizens could suffer if the country is not equipped with the right level of academic engineering education. “We as a Chamber remain committed to safeguard the interests of not only our profession but also of the rest of society,” the body insisted.
Meanwhile, in a separate statement, a group of engineers, who call themselves the Warranted Engineers Action Group, said that many engineers believe that the situation was “a long time coming”.
“It was only the Chamber of Engineers that was and possibly remains in denial, and alone bears responsibility for this state of affairs.
“It is being reported that the Chamber will be calling an extraordinary general meeting, and at the same time inviting all engineers and others to the event. An extraordinary general meeting is called by members of an organisation, mainly to debate and vote on strategic decisions that may need to be taken. Persons that are not paid-up members of the organisation are not normally invited to an extraordinary general meeting, and definitely have no right to vote.
“In this extreme situation, the organisation of a National Conference for all Warranted Engineers, in which all matters are laid bare and effective consultations with all warranted engineers will take place is now an imperative. This is very different from the extraordinary general meeting that the Chamber of Engineers is proposing to hold,” a spokesman for the group said.
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