University of Limerick
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Engineering education quality assurance processes – an exploration of the alignment or combination of the programmatic review and accreditation processes for engineering education programmes in Ireland

posted on 2022-11-03, 11:32 authored by Maria Raymund Kyne
All programmes of study in Institutes of Technology in Ireland are subjected to internal programmatic review in five yearly cycles to ensure that the education programmes meet the quality assurance standards and are fit for purpose. In addition, engineering and construction programmes undergo voluntary external accreditation by their respective professional associations. The research literature indicates that these assessment types are used worldwide, in varying ways and in regular cycles, for the quality assurance of engineering education programmes. Both the programmatic review and accreditation processes differ in focus and intent and have evolved and diverged over time. Incorporation of the programmatic review and accreditation processes into a single quality assurance process or bringing the processes into closer alignment has long been an ambition of the stakeholders and gatekeepers to the engineering profession. The research question explores if the external accreditation processes of engineering programmes in Ireland can be brought into closer alignment with the internal programmatic review process of these programmes. If closer alignment is achieved, a single collaborative quality assurance process could be created or sequential occurrence of the processes within the same timeframe could be facilitated. Significant consultation has taken place with the stakeholders of these processes. The research is designed to gain insights from experts using an adopted Delphi technique methodology for data collection and the constructivist grounded theory to support the analysis of the data. The research outcomes conclude that the accreditation process of engineering education programmes can be brought into closer alignment with the programmatic review process in Institutes of Technology. The findings indicate that it is unrealistic for the processes to be combined into a single quality assurance process but the results show that aligning or linking the processes can be achieved and three options are proposed. Implications for the stakeholders are discussed. This research had yielded insights that are linked to practice and theory to illustrate originality.



  • Doctoral

First supervisor

Goos, Merrilyn

Second supervisor

Tiernan, Peter





Department or School

  • School of Education

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