AWARD FOR PROGRAMS THAT ENHANCE LEARNING 2009

 Category 2: Educational partnerships and collaborations with other organisations
Mining Education Australia
School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering and Teaching and Educational Development Institute
 
Project Team: Dr Mehmet Kizil, Professor Peter Knights, Dr Basil Beamish, Professor Paul Lever, Dr Saiied Aminossadati, Dr Erkan Topal, Dr Patricia Andrews, Adjunct Professor Andrew Scott

Click here to view video  Click here to view video of Dr Mehmet Kizil.

Mining Education Australia (MEA) is a distinctive collaborative educational program between The University of Queensland, The University of New South Wales, The University of Adelaide and Curtin University of Technology. The program was developed to deliver a high-quality undergraduate program in mining engineering with a clear strategic vision for a unified and industry-guided Australian school.   The development of MEA was funded by the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA), representing the Australian mining industry, in response to increased demand for mining industry professionals in the context of a critical shortage of suitably qualified academic staff.  It was assisted in 2007 and 2008 by a $1.325 million grant from the Federal Government. The MCA continues to fund the program which is testament to its impact on this industry sector.
 
MEA is an outstanding and unique educational achievement in which University of Queensland academic staff played a significant role in its establishment. This involved the alignment of curricula between the MEA universities and the development of innovative courses to be taught at all four institutions. There were major challenges and obstacles during the establishment of the program including different course structures at each university, variations in teaching styles, the need for specialised courses, and a lack of commonality in delivery and assessment mechanisms, electives, and laboratory facilities.  The University of Queensland team is recognised for providing responsible leadership amongst its fellow university members. 
 
MEA is unique from an international perspective in that it takes a collaborative approach to a rigorous course development process ensuring alignment between course objectives, teaching and learning activities, graduate attributes and assessment. MEA has been approached by a number of foreign universities and has already reached an agreement to teach specialist modules on mine ventilation at the University of British Columbia. The program currently supports 16 common courses that are offered to third and fourth year engineering students at each member university, makes use of collaborative teaching tools and provides access to both course matter and mining experts across the four member university nodes. 
 
The impact of the MEA program is apparent through increased graduate numbers and quality, as well as providing a national qualification for increased mobility. In a recent accreditation review conducted by Engineers Australia, the quality of MEA teaching materials was singled out as one of the highlights of the UQ Engineering program.   The program has increased student enrolments, including from female students, in mining. An external review of the MEA Program conducted in 2008 by Professor Malcolm Scoble of the University of British Columbia confirmed the uniqueness and desirability of the MEA program.

 

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