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Match maker

Letters

Contrary to the statements you report in your article 'BEng graduates face delay on chartered status route' (NCE 30 May), ICE's inability to credit Matching Sections has not arisen as a result of any defect in Engineering Council (UK) guidance.

In fact, the first Matching Section licence was granted to a chartered institution in April 1999. Most chartered engineering institutions have had licences for some time.

Opposition to the idea of Matching Sections comes from universities unable to satisfy SARTOR 3 standards for chartered registration, many of whom would nevertheless be able to restructure their courses to satisfy the demand for incorporated engineers. With approaching 50% of the under30 population likely to go to university, graduates are finding that those who go the extra mile for a masters, or a Matching Section, can distinguish themselves from the crowd and demonstrate the skill necessary to operate in today's more competitive market.

One of your university sources asked 'how many graduates will want to come back and study a Matching Section after a year or more in industry?' I can tell you that recent DfES studies indicate that as many as 30% of engineering and technology graduates embark on masters level study within three years of graduation. This is the real indication of demand for Matching Sections.

Andrew Ramsay, executive director, Engineering Council (UK), 10 Maltravers Street, London WC2R 3ER

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