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Engineering Education Down Under: Distance Teaching At Deakin University, Australia

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

International Engineering Education II

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.546.1 - 9.546.12



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Paper Authors

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Kanagaratnam Baskaran

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John Long

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1603

Engineering Education Down Under: Distance Teaching at Deakin University, Australia

John M. Long, Kanagaratnam Baskaran

School of Engineering and Technology Deakin University, Victoria, Australia


Deakin University in Australia is one of the leading providers of distance education in the South Pacific region. The School of Engineering offers four-year professional engineering-degree programs and three-year technologist programs. The over 600 total students studying engineering at Deakin fall into four categories: • 18-19 year-old students fresh from high school, who largely study on-campus, • older students in the technical workforce, seeking a university degree to upgrade their qualifications, • industry-based students studying in university-industry partnership programs, • overseas students studying either on-campus, or off-campus through education partners in Malaysia and Singapore. Geographically these students form a very wide student base. The study programs are designed to produce multi-skilled, broadly focused engineers and technologists with multi-disciplinary technical competence, and the ability to take a systems approach to design and operational performance. A team of around 25 academic staff deliver courses in seven different majors in the general fields of manufacturing, environmental engineering, mechatronics, and computer- systems. We discuss here the history of the School, its teaching philosophy, and its unique methods in delivering engineering education to a widely scattered student body.

The case for distance education

Over the years the teaching profession has become increasingly aware of the need to bring quality education to people who previously could not access higher education. This has been accompanied by a marked increase in the number of students enrolling in college and university courses, first in two-year associate degree programs, followed by four-year bachelors programs,* and more recently in post-graduate masters and doctoral programs. The general trend has been for longer periods of formal education prior to full-time employment in professional fields. More and more professionals are undertaking post-graduate courses to aid their career advancement.

* In Australia, the standard bachelor’s degree program (a “pass” degree) in arts and sciences is three years of full- time study, with the option of continuing into a fourth, “honours” year.

“Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2004, American Society for Engineering Education”

Baskaran, K., & Long, J. (2004, June), Engineering Education Down Under: Distance Teaching At Deakin University, Australia Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13108

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