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Standards bearers

Letters

I write in response to the letters from Greg Riddle and Robin Duncan (NCE 4 November). Both complain about the education standards required for registration as a chartered engineer.

It is important to understand that the requirements for longer higher education reflect the time required for the wider project-based studies recommended since the 1979 Finniston report, and echoed by the demands of employers and clients on newly-graduated engineers.

They also derive in part from the well-documented steady decline in the mathematics and science skills of school-leavers holding apparently good A-levels.

The UK continues to struggle to ensure recognition of our chartered engineers in a Europe nearly entirely committed to five years of higher education for professional engineers, and against a wider international scene where four years is widely considered to be the minimum requirement.

Civil engineering design and management is a widely traded service, and the success of the UK in international markets and projects depends on the widespread acceptance of credentials of our engineers.

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

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