Engineering Warrant for MCAST Engineering Graduates

Engineering Warrant for MCAST Engineering Graduates

It's about time to stop with the discrimination against MCAST engineering graduates who have achieved an MQF Level 6 Degree and are not given the chance to apply for the Warranted Engineer certification. This matter has dragged over the past two legislatures each side promising that they will deliver but nothing happens. MCAST graduates have been excellent at their work in the local industry, doing as well as the their University co-workers.


I'm in favour with this idea, a national diploma course (Level 4) contains well enough knowledge and experience that builds a strong practical background hence, people tend to think that a MCAST degree course isn’t that difficult but in reality, it’s because that the majority of the students furthering their studies have successfully completed the level 4 diploma.

I feel that this is discriminatory as we are not even given the change to proof ourselves (considering the X years of hands on experience and in my case even holding an M.Sc). If you think that we don't have what it takes than I believe that many of us are ready for the challenge. Also, it is silly to compare students from UoM and MCAST, but if I may, I can freely say that I have helped and worked with both students in their studies and I was never impressed with UoM students compared to MCASTs.

Billi l-istudenti tal-Universita jiehdu 3 xhur esperjenza prattika gewwa l-workshops u l-laboratorji tal-MCAST ma jfissirx li issa l-istudetni tal-MCAST huma kwalifikati daqs dawk tal-Universita. Non-Sequitur. Ghax madanakollu, l-istudenti tal-MCAST mhux qed jigu l-Univerista biex jghamlu it-tejorija, hux?? Il-prodott tal-Universita u tal-MCAST huwa differenti - u kulhadd qed jaqbel hawn! Tant hu hekk, li l-livell gie mkejjel ftit xhur ilu minn esperti barranin, u nstab differenti ferm!

And finally, I would like to warn Politicians, that promising that which is not deserved in exchange for a handful of votes or political favour, is yet another morally corrupt practice - no different from political treating, graft or soliciting bribes. So let us address the issue not by merely raising false hopes among those that do not wish to work harder, but by raising the quality of Engineering across the board, for the benefit of ALL!

Kull professjoni ghandha tkun "self-regulated"! Din tezisti kwazi kullimkien. Issa jekk il-gvern ser jindahal fil-bicca tal-warrants u jidhol fejn ma jesghux, kull ma ser jigri hija li nwaqqghu kompletament l-valur tal-warrant u nirrenduh bicca karta irrelevanti ghal-kulhadd, specjalment ghal min jimpjega. Dak hu li irridu?

This issue should not be debated on such media. The Engineering Board is working on this issue in order to find a fair solution. "We cannot accept a situation where a student would select one educational institution over another to follow an engineering degree just because there is either the perception or the actuality that the path offered is easier than that of other institutions."

The Engineering Board has determined that there are shortcomings in the MCAST course that would require bridging studies/courses (to cover the missing content) for MCAST candidates to be eligible for the warrant: It has nothing to do with them being from MCAST, rather it's because the syllabus of their degree program is below standard required to hold a warrant.

As a Chamber of Engineers we have, for the last three years, followed up with the Engineering Board on this issue. A review of all degrees was conducted by the Engineering Board through the engagement of International reviewers. The results of that review show evidence of non equality that need to be addressed. It is useless hiding behind false promises when such a promise shall undoubtedly create frictions in the profession - Ing. Norman Zammit - President COE

The product of UoM and MCAST is not the same. So a much better idea is to install a two tier warrant system as that found in the UK and in other places. (I.Eng. -> C.Eng.)

This matter should not be decided by politicians. All engineering universities/institutes are registered with FEANI as is the University of Malta. An international study should be carried out to meet the international standard for engineering. If MCAST does not comply it should be adjusted before this issue can be considered. As it stands not even Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is listed on FEANI which was the one who supported the first degrees from MCAST.

A recent audit has revealed serious shortcomings in the MCAST degree. So this situation will drag on for as long as MCAST administration refuse to implement quality controls of a high standard. Only when the product is equivalent should the warrant be granted. In the meantime, UoM is open and free to anyone who wishes to reach the required standard.

At the moment I am against the idea, since there is no objective document saying that the degrees are equal. The MQF level system is not enough to weigh the content of such degrees. I believe the theoretical background UoM students have gives the necessary expertise required to practice the profession. That being said I would fully support this idea if an external board (EU board) deems that both degrees are equivalent. After all the warrant is there to ensure that there are competent engineers!

How about installing a national qualifying examination for students of both institutions? The exam should consider practice, theory and ethics and should be open for candidates after two year's work experience - with exam papers set by a national board consisting of representatives from both sides with foreign (FEANI) oversight.

The Engineering Board is working on this issue and it goes beyond MCAST. This matter should never become a political issue !!

I agree with this idea as it is not right that us MCAST degree students do not have the opportunity to apply for the warrant. We do have the same degree and get exanimated the same way as the students of UOM. Additionally, students which have completed or currently studying the degree at MCAST have the same credits just like the degree at UOM. Another point is that 1st year engineering students that take a degree at UOM have 3 months’practice at MCAST laboratories & mentored by MCAST lecturers.

This is a delicate matter which should be resolved by the educational institutions in collaboration with the Engineering Board. International experts were engaged on purpose to assist. The educational institutions have all the details and they must work on solutions. Political leverage doesn’t help much. To the contrary, it may give the impression that there are not enough logical arguments to convince about course quality.

I support this fully ;) As an mcast student we are under rated and under appriciated ... we study and work as hard

May I know why students chose to fufill their studies at MCAST knowing full heartedly that they were not going to be able to qualify for a warrant, whereas they could have applied at UoM and obtained it? This boils down to the fact that UoM students have worked tremendously hard throughout the years (O & A levels) and are now facing a Degree which in itself consists of a very intense workload which I do not think students from MCAST understand.

I graduated from MCAST around 8 years ago with a BSc (Hons) in electronics and control engineering. Now, before being shot down, I have been contacted by uni engineering students in the past to provide tuition, people I don't know but which I was more than happy to help to an extent due to my limited time. I have been thought by UoM grads (mostly), top engineers at MCAST. I am 'for', given the COE approves such decision. If we deserve it, all well and good. Talking from experience, we do.

I think that this issue should be resolved between us engineers. Let us focus at the goals instead of unleashing the guns towards one another. Malta needs texhnology to create jobs and not construction. This should be the goal....

This matter needs to be decided by the engineering board, prior to consulting the government, and not vice versa. The engineering board has recently asked for independent consultants from abroad to assess the curriculum of both and the gaps between the course at MCAST and UOM are significant. As a mechanical engineer graduated from UOM, I believe MCAST should address these gaps before it can claim that any of its students are eligible for the engineering warrant.

This matter should not be a political issue. It should be left in the discretion of the Engineering Board. From recent studies, it was proven that the content of MCAST engineering course doesn't match the course content given by University. Hence, it will not be fair on University Graduates that other students who followed a course at MCAST of non-equal content, become warranted engineers too.

Just another small comment - if UOM and MCAST offer the "same" course, why do students voluntarily choose MCAST over UOM, knowing full well they are ineligible for the warrant? Is it because UOM entry requirements are harder and they didn't qualify? Is it because they perceive MCAST to be easier? Is it because the MCAST course has more "hands-on" components (which, since it is the same length as the UOM course, implies that some content was left out to make room for the extra hands-on hours)?

How can one even begin to compare these two institutions when even the entry requirements are not a level plane? The course at the UOM is on an entirely different level both theoretically and analytically and this leads to the proper training needed to fully assume the responsibility that comes with the engineering warrant. With all due respect to the students and the institution itself the way MCAST students are assessed is highly questionable and is simply not comparable to the UOM level.

I personally do not agree with this. I am currently reading for a Degree in Engineering at University of Malta and it is an extremely challenging course, but so are the requirements to enter the course in the first place. I do not think it is fair that MCAST students can also achieve the same warrant when they have less restricted entry requirements and their approach to engineering is not as theoretically intensive. What is the point in working hard to get a degree from the University then?

The main argument against this proposal has been the differences in entry standards and course content. I think the question we should be asking first is whether or not Maltese students who obtained their B.Eng in a UK university with lower entry standards than UoM have been able to apply for their warrant. Does the Board check the 'equality' of the course and it's entry standards as strictly or does it just ensure that the degree is a Level 6 BEng?

I support this idea because the engineering degree courses at MCAST have the same value as the degree courses in University of Malta in terms of the Malta Qualifications Framework (MQF) Level 6 and even the credit value (ECTS). The degree courses at MCAST are as valid as the degree courses at other institutions.

First and foremost I agree that the entry levels should be higher. However the MCAST engineering graduates (and students) have proven themselves in the industry countless times, showing that they are just as able to work under stressful conditions and come up with good solutions. The ratio of MCAST students to UOM students employed has gone up significantly over the last few years and I believe that is why other fellow UOM students are worried about...

Reducing such an issue to partisan politics is detrimental to the profession, words of inequality and unfairness are being thrown around... I'm sorry but the warrant should first and foremost be issued on the basis of merit. Having politicians going around promising warrants, as is stated here, is highly irresponsible. Through international reviewers, the Engineering board has concluded various discrepancies between the two degrees that are yet to be addressed.

In case of this non-equality being mentioned, wouldn't it be possible to have a "filler" course possibly by the UOM to fill in the gaps? This is what is being done in other degrees namely teaching and nursing. Giving the warrant to MCAST graduates does not make UOM graduates any less.

I support this idea because we the mcast students study the same as uni students our outcome is the same level.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating, and all students should be given the chance of achieving the warrant according to their capabilities and performance in their present/future job !!!

There is already discrimination in the entry requirements for the course when weighting those for UoM and MCAST. If you wanted to get the warrant you must have took the course provided by UoM!

I sincerely ask the National Force not to get into this. Please let the Engineering board do its job as it has been doing already on this issue. This is not something politicians should decide upon - but must be left to the experts to decide.

You lack experience Mr. Bonello. Still young, let the big boys decide.

I think you have redefined the term "discrimination" for your own sake. It would be discriminatory if a student was FORCED to get into MCAST and not uni. It would also be discriminatory if one DID NOT HAVE A CHOICE between an institute which grants him a warrant and one which doesn't. It is not discriminatory that one chooses one institute and not the other with such repercussions in mind. As far as I know, University is open to everyone and not the selected privileged few..

What you call discrimination is called education fairness. If you want the warrant, then you should work hard enough to get in the University Engineering courses. It is a fact that the MCAST courses are below average when compared to University. That's the hard truth. It doesn't matter how hard you work, work is relative, what matters is what level you achieve. The warrant should be dictated by professional bodies and not demanded based on your so called discrimination.

This has been assessed from foreign boards and it has been decided already that they are not equivalent. Thanks.

I support this movement because I believe in a world where "teamwork" can drive goals, projects, ideas. I believe in an engineering team connected through diversification of both UoM & MCAST students. Engineering is all about teamwork; technical staff working for a common goal and team rewards. I hope that UoM students one day realize that we might actually be on the same team - and I thoroughly look forward to working with bright individuals, regardless of their tertiary institution.

Currently, the UoM and MCAST courses are not on par, hence why only UoM students can obtain the warrant. If the correct changes are made and the MCAST course reaches the required criteria to aquire the warrant, only then will it be possible for MCAST students to obtain the warrant. Adding on, it is very ironic that some of the students in favour of this idea have only just dropped out of University and have gone to MCAST instead.

Non equality

I strongly disagree with this proposal. Firstly this is not a matter for the government to agree upon but rather for the Engineering Board, who are continuously striving to find a suitable compromise for this matter. Also given the amount of work involved in a University course with respect to an MCAST course, where university is highly more selective, there must be a clear difference between the two courses. If not then what would be the difference between choosing a much more easier course?

As all of you UOM students are stating that we as MCAST student enter the course easier than those who enter UOM are making a fals statment as I entered the coruse with a Mcast diploma in industrial electronics with the same diploma i could easily have entered a course at UOM. Secondly we graduate with an MQF level 6 therefire makes us equal and thirdly as you are again stating that we as MCAST students lack theoretical studies which is again false, you as UOM students lack practical studies.

I fully agree since graduates from both institutions work side by side in the industry and both prove their worthiness. As such, both should be given the chance to apply for the warrant.

Being "MQF Level 6" only means that the degree is of Bachelor's level with 180-240 ECTS (credits).You can get an MQF Level 6 degree in any subject, including for example, English Literature, or Accounting. It should be obvious that it does not in any way imply that the holder of such degree is fit to carry out the responsibilities of a warranted engineer. That is up to the Engineering Board to determine, on a case-by-case basis, based on the actual syllabus of the degree.

Apart from the fact that the ECTS level is not consistent throughout the MCAST study modules (first 2 years are at level 5 and second two years are at level 6), the MQF rating is not enough to evaluate the courses. A first degree from Harvard or Oxford Universities, for instance, has the same MQF rating as a first degree from any other less renowned University, not to mention any. So other considerations have to be taken into account to evaluate equality.

Say I am a Mechanical Engineer and decide to apply for the Erasmus option. If the University I go to is of a lower standard, does that mean that the semester/s spent abroad is/are not accounted for? I personally know of people who favor foreign universities due to easier assessments compared to our university. These same students have an easier third year of the course, yet they are still eligible. If the Level 6 is still deemed unworthy, at least offer the warrant to Masters graduates...

I agree Completely, Those commenting against are Blinded by a heavy heart of conflict of interest. Deep down they are scared of the true potential of MCAST Graduates.

I support this idea due to the fact that the courses have the same level and criteria. Therefore it is unfair on MCAST students not getting the same certificate

Norman Zammit is obviously a UOM Student. This puts HIM and ALL the members in the COE in a conflict of interest. I have no doubt that the studies you mention where doped with your input. I am sure that we at MCAST Can be even better engineers since many of us entered the degree with a level 4 diploma with two years of on the job training, How can a student coming out of the UOM ever beat that?

This is a sensitive subject that warrants (excuse the pun) a rational analysis, rather than being discussed on such a social platform. The academic rigour and background between MCAST and Uni Engineering degrees are incomparable.

I strongly agree with this issue. For those who are saying that the MCAST Course are easier, That is completely wrong and false. I even believe the contrary. As we do not have the two weeks study break which you are given for exams and Assignments. You have nothing to back up the statement that the MCAST Course is easier, I on the other hand, have presented evidence. I hope that you are not commenting hear due to your stong prejudice feeling against MCAST which I have no doubt you have.

I support fully the idea because they study and work just as hard as University students so they deserve the same rights as them.

As a student currently undertaking a level 6 degree course in electronics engineering i have personally seen the differences between mcast and university and i can confidently say that the only difference between the two is that perhaps the level of maths done at mcast is not equivalent to the level of maths done at university. However i am also very confident in saying that most probably when it comes to practice the mcast students have far more experience. I believe that the warrant should be given

I support this idea because having engineering students studying the SAME CONTENT with a lot of passion as uni students and they aren't given their warrant simply on the basis of being 'MCAST students' is degrading for all students. Regardless, going to MCAST or University, students should be receiving the SAME EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES! We should be motivating students further and not sink them lower!

Because i am against discrimination and mcast engineers are very dedicated, but not only, they always stand out

I fully support this idea! MCAST Engineering Students have a tough course to read and put in countless hours to keep up with the volume of work they have. It is imperative that action is taken once and for all.

I think there is a reason why "this matter has dragged over the past two legislatures" and that is simply because this only lies in the hands of International bodies who need to carefully analyse both institutions before granting anyone with a warrant. Clearly, this has been done already and from the look of it, both institution DO NOT teach the same content. I think there's a reason why those who could've gotten into UoM still choose to go to MCAST which wont grant them a warrant..I wonder why

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