MOTIVATING TOMORROW’S ENGINEERS
Published: 27 Aug 2015
Abstract: Engineering has higher drop-out rates from university than many other subjects. One widely agreed reason for non-completion is the lack of motivation to study while on course. Data from focus groups and two separate surveys compares the views of UK engineering students with those of their international counterparts, asking: why do students take up engineering and what motivates them to sustain their studies? The research suggests students choose engineering, not only as it matches their pre-existing academic strengths, but also because they have a long-existing passion for technology. Unsurprisingly, a very large proportion of those surveyed explicitly claim their single largest motivator is the prospect of a potentially rewarding career. Nevertheless, a combination of unengaging lecturers and a lack of overall support and feedback take their toll and many students rapidly become disengaged with their studies. The international views were closely aligned but strong themes emerged illustrating the importance of creative, real-world teaching and criticising lecturers who lack passion and communication skill.
Keywords: motivations, engagement, engineering education
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