Civil engineering students face compulsory skills test


Another discipline has been added to the list of required testing before enrolling at university – civil engineering

Tests are non-binding, assure universities

Prospective civil engineering students in Flanders will have to sit a competence test before they can enrol for programmes this autumn, the universities have announced. Compulsory tests for other undergraduate degrees in the sciences are likely to be introduced in the years to come.

The tests are intended to indicate whether a potential student’s mathematical and scientific skills and knowledge are strong enough to begin a bachelor programme. While it is mandatory to sit the test, failure does not necessarily block a student from enrolling.

“Future students do not have to pass the test,” explained Tinne De Laet, who is in charge of tutorial services at KU Leuven’s faculty of engineering science. “Those who do not succeed are still welcome at the university, but the universities will be able to oblige students to take part in a remedial programme. In this way, their knowledge and skills are improved from the start of the academic year and they do not needlessly fall behind. “

The need to register for the tests in advance will also encourage students to commit to a programme of study, rather than leaving it to the last minute, she said.

Two tests this year

Three Flemish universities – KU Leuven, Ghent and VUB in Brussels – have been running competence tests on a voluntary basis since 2013, first for civil engineers and then for other scientific disciplines, such as mathematics and biomedical sciences.

The decision to make the tests obligatory was taken by the Flemish parliament. A similar obligatory but non-binding test for teacher training was introduced last year.

Tests for aspiring civil engineering students take place on 2 July and 1 September this year.