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The Phased Introduction Of Pbl In The Engineering Undergraduate Programs At Victoria University

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

International Case Studies:Collaborations, Exchanges & Interactions

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

12.1452.1 - 12.1452.14



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Paper Authors

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Alec Simcock Victoria University

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Robert ives Victoria University

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Paul Bronson Victoria University

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Charles Mphande Victoria University

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Juan SHI Victoria University

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

The Phased Introduction of PBL in the Engineering Undergraduate Programs at Victoria University


In mid-2005 Victoria University (VU), Australia committed itself to convert all of its undergraduate engineering programs to Problem Based Learning (PBL). The Vice Chancellor then mandated that PBL would be used to deliver the first year of these programs commencing in 2006, with an annual phased roll out of PBL into the later years of each program.

This conversion to PBL was part of a strategy by the University to address declining enrolment numbers in engineering programs, and to meet requests from industry that universities should improve the personal and professional skills of their graduates.

The changeover to PBL had been preceded in 2004 by a major revision to the programs to make them compliant with the Australian Federal Government’s Higher Education Information Management System (HEIMS). As a consequence the engineering programs have undergone their most significant revision in over 25 years. This revision has enabled the programs to simultaneously address the demands of external stakeholders and to compensate for the problems encountered by the traditional programs ensuing from the standards of prior education of students entering these programs.

This paper looks at some of the background to the introduction of PBL, the models of PBL adopted and their justification, and the process of achieving such a radical overhaul of programs in the compressed time available.


Victoria University is situated in Melbourne, Australia, and was formed in 1991 by the amalgamation of Footscray Institute of Technology (FIT), which could trace its ancestry back to 1916, and the Western Institute, which in 1991 was a new institution. The University comprises of eleven campuses and sites around Victoria, it currently has 44,000 enrolled students of which 7,900 are international students from over thirty countries, and it hosts 700 programs in Higher Education (HE) and Technical and Further Education (TAFE). Over 3,900 students are taught in countries across Asia including Singapore, Malaysia, Bangladesh, China, Vietnam, Korea, and Thailand. Victoria University is one of only five, dual sector, universities in Australia which offers both TAFE and HE.

Victoria University’s higher education sector is divided into three faculties:-

Faculty of Arts, Education and Human Development o Psychology, international studies, media and communication, multimedia, languages, social sciences, humanities, education and training, exercise psychology, sport, recreation, and performance studies. Faculty of Business and Law

Simcock, A., & ives, R., & Bronson, P., & Mphande, C., & SHI, J. (2007, June), The Phased Introduction Of Pbl In The Engineering Undergraduate Programs At Victoria University Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--1850

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