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Casebourne attacks SARTOR 'horror'

NEW ICE chief executive Mike Casebourne has launched a stinging attack on the 'full horror' of the SARTOR education reforms.

Casebourne, who took up his post last week, told NCE that before being appointed he had 'no idea SARTOR was going on'. After six months' study he had 'started to understand the full horror of SARTOR and its implications'.

He also expressed shock that 'nobody can put their hands up as to having analysed the probable consequences of SARTOR'. The Engineering Council's Standards and Routes to Registration proposals have already been adopted by the ICE and come into effect during the next academic year. Under the reforms most students on BEng courses will need the equivalent of three Cs at A level. The standard for MEng courses will be three Bs.

The former GTRM managing director said: 'It is quite wrong to determine the quality of someone's future by reference to his A level results. Men and women develop enormously between the ages of 18 and 28. The scope for advancement through the Institution should be decided in steps later in life.'

Casebourne also questioned the logic of trying to make Corporate Membership the profession's 'elite' by increasing the proportion of associated members.

'There should be an elite in the profession,' he claimed, 'but I can't understand why that elite is not the Fellows.'

Casebourne hoped he would come to agree with SARTOR, but warned: 'I might not.' However, he acknowledged the dangers of constantly tinkering with the profession's education system, adding: 'If irrevocable decisions have been made, it is probably better to concentrate on making them work.'

(Full interview see page 20)

alastairm@construct.emap.co.uk

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