27 May 2011
A delegation of Austrian academics has visited Aston University to discover more about the Institution’s engineering research and involvement in the UK’s first University sponsored Engineering Academy for 14-19 year old aspiring engineers.
The principals and senior staff members, all from Higher Technical Institutes (HTI’s) in Austria toured Aston’s facilities, meeting with lecturers, researchers and students. Austrian HTI’s are technology and craft orientated higher colleges, which specialise in engineering disciplines
The delegation viewed the site of the new Aston University Engineering Academy, which is due to open September 2012. Based at Birmingham Science Park, Aston, adjacent to the University, it will allow up to 600 pupils aged from 14 to 19 years old to focus on engineering alongside core GCSE subjects.
Research showcased in the tour include a hydrogen powered car, designed and built by Aston students; bioenergy labs developing algae and sewage sludge for alternative energy sources and the University’s involvement in the innovative Conceive, Design, Implement & Operate (CDIO) learning initiative.
Lee Kilgour, Principal Designate of Aston University Engineering Academy, who met with the delegation, said; “Austrian HTIs play an important part in the country’s vocational education, particularly in engineering. Our new £17m Aston academy will provide students with real industry experience, so we were delighted to welcome the delegation and to discuss the potential for future collaborations.”
Professor Alison Halstead, Pro Vice Chancellor at Aston, added; “Aston University will be working closely with the new Academy to help raise the aspirations of young engineers and develop a creative and innovative workforce for the region and beyond. Vocational education is particularly strong in Austria, so we’re delighted to showcase Aston University, the new Academy and the strong engineering skills base of the West Midlands.”
The new Aston University Engineering Academy will support the newly launched Vocational Diplomas and Young Apprenticeships for 14-19 year olds.
For further information please contact Alex Earnshaw, Aston University Communications on 0121 204 4549
Notes to editors;
The UK’s University Technical Colleges initiative, which includes the Aston University Engineering Academy, has been proposed and promoted by former education secretary Lord Baker and the late Lord Dearing as a bridge between vocational and academic education.