International accreditation for DIT engineering programmes

DIT's Faculty of Engineering had reason to celebrate this May, as Ireland's largest professional body, Engineers Ireland successfully accredited five of its honours degree programmes (NQAI level 8). This exciting accolade follows on from the previous accreditation of the Faculty's Bachelor of Engineering programme in Computer Engineering the previous year.

The accreditation was one of the largest events of its kind to take place in Ireland and involved a team of 17 renowned senior academics and professionals from Engineers Ireland. The team spent two days in DIT reviewing curricula; examination papers; project work; qualifications of academics and facilities, as well as interviewing students, graduates and employers to ensure that the academic programmes were up to the highest international standards.

Engineers Ireland has formally accredited engineering degree programmes in the Republic of Ireland since 1982. It does so in accordance with specific accreditation criteria. All accredited programmes are deemed to have satisfied the educational standard for Ordinary membership of Engineers Ireland and therefore, once graduates accumulate the appropriate industrial experience they will qualify for the title of Chartered Engineer. In addition, Engineers Ireland is a signatory of the Washington Accord, which means graduates of the accredited Engineering programmes, will hold Chartered Status and will have their qualifications recognised in numerous countries across the globe, including the USA, Canada, Australia and Hong Kong.

According to Dr. Mike Murphy, Dean of DIT's Faculty of Engineering; 'This is a superb outcome and means that graduates of our honours degree programmes between now and 2010 will be recognised throughout the world as Chartered Engineers, once they have accumulated appropriate industrial experience. This is a very important milestone for engineering at DIT and is testament to the sheer hard work, innovation, and dedication of our programme teams.'

New accreditation procedures require Engineering students to demonstrate not only mathematical, scientific and engineering skills but also the ability to communicate effectively, to work as part of a team, to employ ethical best practice and to exercise initiative in relation to their study commitments. This is vital as Ireland places itself at the higher end of the value chain in the burgeoning knowledge economy.

The Faculty of Engineering has recently modularised all of its undergraduate programmes with great success as Dr. Murphy comments 'Our student success rate has improved to 78% but we are not resting on our laurels, we are aiming for a retention rate of 85%. It is expected to be another busy academic year for the Faculty with nine ordinary degree (NQAI level 7) programmes up for accreditation by Engineers Ireland. This is the first time ordinary degrees will be accredited by Engineers Ireland and DIT Faculty of Engineering is proud to be pioneers of this prestigious development.'

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