Engineering in Australia

Australia is internationally renowned for its excellence in teaching, research, and leadership in engineering education.

Studying engineering in Australia as an international student

Australia is a favoured destination for people looking to study engineering, with 41% of the 14,000 graduating undergraduate and postgraduate students being international students (2009).

Our 2,000 strong engineering academic staff are recruited from both within Australia and internationally. This gives the 36 Australian institutions with accredited engineering programmes a culturally rich multicultural community.

Teaching styles at Australian institutions vary, but generally revolve around student-centred approaches. Academics are learning-designers as much as being the presenters.

There is a mix of:

  • traditional lecture/tutorial/lab-based delivery
  • problem-based learning (PBL)
  • project-based learning (PjBL)
  • authentic learning
  • work-integrated learning (WIL)
  • a general shift towards integrated curriculum, typically through engineering design units

Significant investment is also being made by institutions in the creation of more open and flexible learning spaces.

There is a strong focus on outcomes-based education, which is supported by the Engineers Australia accreditation system. The system expresses the graduate capabilities of the Professional Engineer, Engineering Technologist and Associate Engineer in terms of the respective Stage 1 Competency Standards.

Engineering careers in Australia

Australia, like many countries around the world, is grappling with an engineering skill shortage exacerbated by, in part, an overall decline in the demand of school students for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) related career paths.

This has prompted governments and the higher education sector to invest in a number of strategies to stimulate interest in STEM-related careers. Initiatives include providing more flexible pathways into engineering programmes, engaging in community and school outreach programmes, and offering programmes that are more attractive and better aligned to employment opportunities.

The Australasian Assocation for Engineering Education

The Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE) is a society of Australian and New Zealand engineering educators. AAEE is a technical society of the professional engineering body, Engineers Australia. It enjoys a strong relationship with the Australian Council of Engineering Deans and the New Zealand Council of Engineering Deans. This unique and highly collaborative relationship underpins AAEE activities in providing development and collaborative opportunities in scholarship, practice and research in engineering education.

Australia is a member of a number of international accords - the Washington Accord, the Sydney Accord, the Dublin Accord, and the Engineers Mobility Forum/Engineering Technologist Mobility Forum. These accords provide international benchmarking, recognition and portability of qualifications for accredited professional engineering, engineering technologist and engineering associate programmes respectively.

Associate Professor Duncan Campbell
Australasian Association for Engineering Education