The Malta Independent 29 September 2021, Wednesday

Chamber of Engineers files judicial protest against MCAST

Friday, 28 August 2020, 15:35 Last update: about 2 years ago

The Chamber of Engineers has filed a Judicial Protest against the Malta College for Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST), “following MCAST’s failure to rectify its position in relation to a number of courses related to the engineering profession.”

The chamber said that, on 7 August it had communicated a legal letter to MCAST outlining a number of shortcomings vis-à-vis the engineering profession, to which MCAST did not accede to. In its letter, the Chamber contested the fact that MCAST has been publishing courses in engineering which breach a previous agreement which was entered into between the Engineering Profession Board and MCAST.

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The courses in question are the following:

Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Electronics and Control Engineering – Top Up

Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Mechanical Engineering (Plant) – Top Up

These courses were being advertised as part-time courses. At the moment, MCAST graduates who have already graduated with the above degrees are not being considered by the Engineering Profession Board as being eligible for the warrant to practice the profession of Engineer. A review process is currently ongoing wherein external consultants have been appointed by the Board to review MCAST’s proposal on bridging studies which should supposedly ensure that the quality of these graduates is brought up to standard as stipulated in the Engineering Profession Act (Chapter 321 of the laws of Malta).

As of present, an official report by these consultants has defined a lack of equivalence between the standard being sought and the content being offered in those courses, mainly in relation to the underlying deficiencies in engineering fundamentals and scientific concepts.

MCAST has acted on the above point where the website now states that the above-mentioned top-up courses are no longer being offered, the chamber said.

It recognised the action taken on this point but said it has received no satisfactory reply as to any remedies proposed by MCAST in relation to the other shortcomings which were addressed in the letter.

“In view of the uncertainty surrounding the eligibility of such graduates from the above-mentioned courses, the Chamber is contesting the fact that the publication of such courses is irresponsible and misleading to the general public. Moreover, new courses, made up of 240 credits at level 6 in Engineering have already started without a full review from the external consultants, with students being expected to graduate in the coming years. The Chamber feels that this is a disservice to the general public and particularly to those students prospecting to enter the Engineering Profession.”

“Finally, in the MCAST Prospectus 2020/2021, the College mentions the role of ‘engineer’ as career prospects in relation to courses that are not considered to be eligible or have anything to do with an engineering warrant. The wrong use of the ‘Ing.’ title or any form of false indication that one is eligible to practice the profession of engineer goes against the Engineering Profession Act. The Chamber has in the past weeks managed to convince the Engineering Profession Board that the definition of ‘Inginier’ in the Engineering Profession act is strengthened through its inclusion in the said act. The Chamber highlights the responsibility that needs to be carried by educational institutions in preserving the integrity of the engineering profession.”

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