The South African Engineering Education Model with a European Perspective: History, Analogies, Transformations and Challenges


KLOOT Bruce3, ROUVRAIS Siegfried1,2

Type de document

Article de revue avec comité de lecture


European journal of engineering education, march 2017, vol. 24, n° 2, pp. 188-202




South Africa, with its national cultural diversity and post-apartheid challenges and commitments, finds echoes in the European context, especially considering the imperatives of openness and non-discrimination in higher education. With an historical tradition of excellence in engineering education, the emphasis on supporting educationally disadvantaged learners was a notable characteristic, especially in the period of democratic transition from the late 1980s. This evolved into extended curriculum programmes - where the engineering degree is spread out so that it should take an extra year to complete - which are now in place at all universities across the country. This article draws some analogies with the French model and discusses the source and drivers of transformation of engineering education and training. It examines the potential for structural transformation of engineering education and raises the questions of conservatism and interoperability of programmes at an international level.


1 : INFO(TB) - Dépt. Informatique (Institut Mines-Télécom-Télécom Bretagne-UEB)
2 : IRISA(TB) - Institut de recherche en informatique et systèmes aléatoires (UMR CNRS 6074 - Université de Rennes 1 - INRIA - INSA de Rennes - ENS de Cachan - Télécom Bretagne - Université de Bretagne Sud)
3 : CREE - Centre for Research in Science and Engineering Education (Department of Mechanical Engineering - University of Cape Town)

Mots clés

Engineering education, Evolution, France, South Africa, Training models, Change, Bourdieu, History, Transformation, Curriculum, Challenge, Includion, Internationalisation, Erasmus mundus, Erasmus Mundus, Diversity, Post-apartheid, Non-discrimination, Higher education, Disadvantaged learners, Extended curriculum, Structural transformation, Conservatism



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