Full JBM accreditation for civil engineering programmes

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The Department of Civil Engineering at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University has received full accreditation for all its programmes from the Joint Board of Moderators, making it the first Sino-British university in China offering JBM-accredited programmes at both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees levels.

On Thursday 5 November 2015, the JBM confirmed that the Department’s degree programmes were of a high enough quality to receive full accreditation.

The JBM is a formation of the four major UK professional accreditation bodies in the field of civil engineering and is comprised of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE), the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT) and the Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE).

JBM granted the accreditation to the BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering programme as part satisfying the academic base for a chartered engineer and as fully satisfying the academic base for an incorporated engineer, under the provisions of UK-SPEC, for 2014 - 2018 intakes.

Accreditation has also been approved to retrospectively cover the 2010 - 2014 intake periods, meaning that every student who has ever graduated from this programme will have an accredited degree.

Accreditation has also been given to the 2015 intake of the recently launched BEng (Hons) Architectural Engineering programme, while MSc Sustainable Construction has been accredited as meeting the requirements for further learning for a chartered engineer for 2014 and 2015 intakes.

Students who complete both an accredited BEng (Hons) degree plus accredited further learning to masters level will automatically fulfill the educational requirements for the Engineering Council UK’s register of chartered engineers without the need for additional academic assessment. Accreditation of the degree programmes offered at XJTLU also means that the University can apply to the Engineering Council for the EUR-ACE Label for these programmes, providing very broad recognition of the high quality educational standards in civil engineering discipline.

The Department of Civil Engineering has been seeking accreditation since it was first established in 2010. Following an invitation by Head of Department Dr Chee Seong Chin, a full accreditation visit from a JBM moderating team, led by Professor Kuldeep Virdi, was organised in May 2015. During the visit, the Department’s laboratory facilities, and the University’s learning and teaching resources were assessed, alongside lecture materials and coursework and examination outputs of students.

The JBM was impressed by the dedication of the staff to delivering a high standard of British education in China, as well as with the quality and amount of research work being undertaken by the Department. They also noted that the establishment of an Industrial Advisory Board, which, among other things, ensures the industrial relevance of XJTLU civil engineering programmes, is unique and not found currently in other local universities.

Additionally, the JBM commended the Department for its organisation of summer student placements and its appointment of a placement officer to ensure that every student is able to engage with a civil engineering company for a summer internship programme. They were also impressed by the establishment of the XJTLU student chapter of the Institution of Civil Engineers, UK, which allows students to meet and interact with civil engineering students from other universities via the competitions it organises.

The JBM commented that the Department of Civil Engineering’s feedback system was particularly robust, especially in the use of module review reports that allow feedback and responses to the external examiner, module questionnaires, and staff-student liaison committees and in addition that these reports feed into the annual programme review process. This system ensures that all comments and feedback received by programme directors throughout the year must be considered and reported at the end of each academic year.

Dr Chee Seong Chin said: "Accreditation from the JBM is proof that our programmes meet the quality standards established by the civil engineering profession. For students wishing to become engineers, completing a JBM-accredited course provides a fast-track route to professional status and ensures the quality of the education they receive. We're delighted to have received this accreditation."

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