A Measure of Agreement: Employers and Engineering Studies in the Universities of England and Wales, 1897-1939
|Title||A Measure of Agreement: Employers and Engineering Studies in the Universities of England and Wales, 1897-1939|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||1990|
|Secondary Title||Social Studies of Science|
Over the half century to 1940, in England and Wales, university education virtually replaced apprenticeship as the elite entry into professional engineering. Although some employers scorned ’college men’, other firms, both large and small, welcomed the novel technical skills graduates offered. These employers had the power to influence university teaching through local organizations and the national professional engineering institutions. The early curriculum was based on abstract engineering science, to which less-established colleges added teaching more closely related to contemporary industrial practice. The 1920s saw attempts to introduce management studies into engineering curricula, although these were not greatly successful. By the late 1930s, a powerful alliance of employers and academics sought to raise the prestige of engineering by focusing courses on practice in engineering science, leaving management to be taught in firms and through graduate courses. This suggestion won the support of leading employers, and became the basis for the growth of ’scientific’ engineering after 1945.