Barriers from Preparing Students with, the Desired Skills
Industry, faculty, and students reported several barriers from preparing students
with desired skills, and the two main emerging themes were as follows:
• Motivation: Students normally tend to achieve the minimum requested. The students are normally grade oriented but not learning oriented. Overall speaking, males are less motivated than females and nationals are less motivated than non-nationals.
• Lack of significant practical experience in engineering curriculum: This concern has been frequently raised by all stakeholders groups (industry, faculty, and students). Engineering curriculum is more theory oriented, and less focus is given to the professional side of engineering. Internships are normally 8 weeks long, conducted in the summer, and are not enough. Furthermore, the vast majority of faculty members do not have industry experience (very similar to majority of engineering sciences schools worldwide).
Table 7.25 Descriptive statistics of actions that help to prepare students for work
The university changes the curriculum depending on the needs of the country in the future
Increase collaboration with industry
Sector-specific internship/work placements as an integral part of the engineering study programme
Reward faculty members who conduct engineering education research
Faculty members think that there should be a professional practice course