Flinders and UniSA partnership promises SA more Engineers

More students will be able to study engineering with greater flexibility in South Australia thanks to a new partnership between Flinders University and the University of South Australia.

Under an agreement signed today, students will be able to study for the first two years of their engineering degree at one university and then transfer to the other institution at a point where the tuition becomes more specialised to a particular field.

Flinders Vice-Chancellor, Professor Michael Barber, said the new entry pathways would work to the two university’s relative strengths and boost the potential for students to undertake engineering studies.

UniSA Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Høj said working together to provide the best opportunities for Australian university students was an important way forward for universities.

“Joining forces with Flinders University to maximise engineering opportunities for SA students is about building an innovative university sector that responds to the growing demand for a skilled workforce,” Professor Høj said.

“It is vital that universities work to develop clever solutions to meet industries’ needs now and into the future. These solutions are applicable both within States and more broadly across Australia and both organisations recognise that such arrangements are not exclusive and that ultimately much broader networks can be formed as seen in some aspects of language tuition.”

Professor Barber said study programs in Civil Engineering and Mechanical Engineering were not currently available at Flinders.

As a consequence fewer students currently choose these engineering professions,” Professor Barber said.

“Under this new agreement, from 2009 Flinders will be able to offer the first two years of Civil and Mechanical Engineering and students will complete their courses at UniSA’s Mawson Lakes campus.

“Similarly, Biomedical Engineering and Robotics are to be made available at UniSA’s Mawson Lakes campus in Adelaide’s north with students transferring to Flinders at the end of the second year to complete their degrees.

“Undergraduate admissions data shows that comparatively few school leaving students apply for admission to courses of study located a long way from where they live. This new collaboration will help overcome that impediment and will increase opportunities for students to study engineering at both universities.”

The Vice-Chancellors agreed that with skills shortages prevailing across a wide range of industry sectors, the engineering collaboration would provide greater access to university study and would support State and Federal Government strategies to enhance SA’s skills base.

For further information refer to Inspiring Engineering.

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