Engineering Students Release Statement on MCAST Course

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At the end of the article UESA’s statement may be found

UESA has recently published a statement regarding the MCAST Pre-Warrant Qualification Course. For these last couple of months, students following the engineering course at the University of Malta have been concerned about MCAST students getting the same warrant.

Yesterday, the 6th of May, it was announced that the Pre-Warrant Qualification Course is of 30 ECTS at MQF Level 6.

At the University of Malta the four year course in Bachelor of Engineering (Hons.) totals to 240 ECTS MQF Level 6 whereas past MCAST Bachelor of Engineering (Hons.) totalled to 120 ECTS MQF Level 5 and 120 ECTS MQF Level 6.

This decision took into consideration the difference in the number of credits students at the University of Malta have to take in order to get their warrants. According to UESA’s statement: “the equivalent of two and a half years out of four of the B.Eng(Hons.) Undergraduate programs at the University of Malta.”

KSU supports all the students that are currently following this course and also UESA, University Engineering Students’ Association. Therefore students are still hoping for a fair and honest solution regarding this issue.

UESA’s statement on the issue:

UESA shares the Chamber of Engineers’ concern regarding the recent update by the Engineering Board. The currently ongoing MCAST Pre-Warrant Qualification Course of 30 ECTS credits is an unacceptable solution to the ineligibility of past MCAST Engineering graduates when applying for an engineering warrant.

During a meeting with UESA and KSU representatives on the 25th of September 2018, the Engineering Board and the Minister for Transport Infrastructure and Capital Projects, Dr. Ian Borg, expressed their commitment to the fundamental principle of one profession, one standard when it comes to the eligibility for the Engineering Warrant of graduates from different institutions. UESA finds it disheartening that this basic, yet necessary value is being side-lined.

It is important to highlight that the past MCAST B.Eng(Hons.) courses were structured such that the initial two years included 120 ECTS at MQF level 5 and the final two years were composed of 120 ECTS at MQF level 6. The additional 30 ECTS will result in a total of 150ECTS at MQF level 6, i.e. the equivalent of two and a half years out of four of the B.Eng(Hons.) undergraduate programmes at the University of Malta.

Furthermore, MCAST has also refrained from publishing any details about the bridging studies course, with no mention of such course in its annual prospectus. So far there is no information as to what areas will be bolstered and whether all weaknesses identified in the ASIIN reports are being addressed. UESA believes that this information is vital in the interim period since the Pre-Warrant Qualification Course cannot be audited until the first cohort completes the course.

Engineering students at the University of Malta have no trust in the process as it stands. We feel that it is necessary that the currently ongoing Pre-Warrant Qualification course is immediately revised so as to ensure that students who complete this course are in possession of such degree of the University of Malta or an equivalent academic qualification as stipulated in the Engineering Profession Act.

The lack of transparency, consultation and the refusal by the relevant authorities to recognize and address the serious concerns of students, graduates and warrant-holders alike risks damaging society’s trust in the engineering profession.

Going forward, UESA is actively considering all options available to safeguard the interests of our members. As we have reiterated many times, UESA is in favour of a solution on this matter, however a solution can only be deemed acceptable when all stakeholders are consulted and when a commitment to transparency and true harmonisation between the courses at UM and MCAST is realised.

Written by

Michaela Cassar

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Engineering Students Release Statement on MCAST Course

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