Course changes to limit engineering students

Monday, 26 May, 2014

Proposed changes by the Melbourne School of Engineering could prevent engineering graduates from working as surveyors in Victoria.

The accreditation of postgraduate engineering courses with the Surveyors Registration Board of Victoria (SRBV) is currently unconfirmed beyond 2014.  SRBV accreditation is required to legally work as a cadastral surveyor in Victoria.

Discipline Leader for Geomatics and Spatial Information Science Professor Stephan Winter has foreshadowed a change to postgraduate accreditation and course structures in an email to Geomatics students.

“Those of you who graduate in 2014 will have an SRBV accredited degree, and those who graduate later will (most likely) not have an SRBV accredited degree,” he wrote.

Winter wrote in the email that the proposed changes would “strengthen the national and international profile of the degree at the expense of the requirements of the local cadastral surveying industry”.

However when approached for comment by Farrago, Professor Winter said there were no proposed changes to accreditation.

Winter said that he “regretted” the language used in the original email to students. He said that the faculty is still in talks with various parties, including the SRBV, about accreditation.

The confusion over the proposed changes has drawn criticism from students currently enrolled in the ME (Geomatics).

“There is a real shortage of surveyors,” Melbourne University Geomatics Society President Ella Doolan said. “If the course can’t offer accreditation, there’s very little reason you would do it.”

The school also plans to discontinue the Master of Engineering (Geomatics) course. In the same email to current Geomatics students, Professor Winter wrote “should you graduate beyond 2014 you will graduate with a ME (Spatial)”.

Students haven’t heard from Professor Winter since raising concerns about the proposed changes at a meeting with him before Easter.

“We don’t want to attack him,” Doolan said. “We just want this all resolved, and our feelings heard.”