Curtin Malaysia hosts webinar on engineering programme accreditation

Miri – 10 March 2021 – Staff of the Faculty of Engineering and Science of Curtin University Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia), as well as participants from other universities and industry, recently attended a one-day webinar on ‘Engineering Accreditation Principles and Requirements’ hosted by the Faculty. The webinar was aimed at updating them on the latest Engineering Accreditation Council (EAC) standards introduced in 2020.

During the webinar, Ir. Dr. Siti Hawa Hamzah and Ir. Dr. Liew Chia Pao, who are the director and associate director respectively of the Engineering Accreditation Department of the EAC, presented the criteria for accreditation of engineering degree programmes, as well as the major changes in the latest EAC standards.

The EAC is a body delegated by the BEM to be the only recognised accrediting body for engineering degree programmes offered in Malaysia. Membership of the EAC comprises representatives from the BEM, Institution of Engineers Malaysia (IEM), industry employers, Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) and Public Services Department (JPA).

The EAC’s primary responsibilities are to set policy and conduct approval and accreditation evaluations. Since 2000, it has provided leadership and quality assurance in engineering higher education and currently accredits 190 programmes at 26 institutions of higher learning nationwide.

The EAC is also instrumental in ensuring Malaysia’s accredited engineering programmes are substantially equivalent to the engineering degrees of other signatories of the Washington Accord, the international agreement between bodies responsible for accrediting engineering degree programmes. The Washington Accord establishes and benchmarks the standard for professional engineering education across the 20 signatory countries.

The administration of the EAC has been strengthened with the setting up of the Engineering Accreditation Department, which is supported by several active committees addressing a variety of issues, including training, the accreditation management system, strategic planning and finance.

“The webinar was very beneficial to the participants, helping to enhance their understanding of the importance of programme accreditation, as well as best practices in engineering education nationally and internationally,” commented Professor Vu Tuong Thuy, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Science.

He said Curtin Malaysia has undergone numerous engineering programme accreditations by the EAC through the years and all the Curtin engineering degree programmes offered at Curtin Malaysia have the advantage of being double-accredited by both the EAC and Engineers Australia, the accreditation authority for tertiary engineering education in Australia.

“Accreditation provides the assurance to potential employers and public at large as to the quality of graduates and the programmes offered at institutions of higher learning. As all graduate engineers must register with the BEM to practise engineering in Malaysia, having an EAC-accredited engineering degree is the prerequisite for registration,” said Professor Vu.

“Furthermore, JPA allows only graduates from EAC-accredited programmes or those recognised by the EAC to join the Malaysian public service,”

He added that the engineering programmes at Curtin Malaysia are popular largely due to their Malaysian and Australian accreditations and the fact that they are recognised worldwide through the Washington Accord.

Curtin Malaysia’s Faculty of Engineering and Science offers programmes in chemical, civil and construction, electrical and electronic, environmental, mechanical and petroleum engineering, as well related applied sciences such as applied geology, health, safety and environment (HSE) and construction management. It also offers programmes in computing (software engineering and cyber security) and computer systems and networking.

Curtin ranks highly in the fields of engineering, science and technology in the global rankings of universities, including second in the world for mineral and mining engineering, 43rd in the world for geology, 44th in the world for petroleum engineering, and 50th in the world for earth and marine sciences, according to the 2021 QS World University Rankings by Subject.

Some of those who attended the webinar.

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