Underpinning systems thinking in railway engineering education

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Academics are by far more responsive to social, economic and technological changes and therefore academic identity must be resilient and flexible in order to fully engage with diverse and numerous purposes of academic institutions. Considering the fierce competition in the UK higher education sector, the demand for an academic curriculum to be globally relevant is greater than ever. In this paper, new challenges within the British higher education setting in globally competitive environment are discusses. The railway engineering curriculum within civil engineering program at the University of Birmingham (accredited by the Institution of Civil Engineers, U.K.) is critically reviewed and evaluated, aiming at enhancing core technical skills alongside those required for systems thinking solutions. Comparative evaluations considering learning outcomes and industry expectation are carried out. Based on the review and evaluation using both academic and industry insights, some insights and recommendations to improve student experience and to enhance learning environment with the emphasis on employability, systems thinking approach and industry practice are highlighted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-116
JournalAustralasian Journal of Engineering Education
Issue number2
Early online date16 Feb 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Feb 2018


  • railway engineering education
  • student experience
  • employability
  • systems thinking
  • research-led teaching


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