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Mining school courses accredited for another five years

- Wits University

The Engineering Council of South Africa has accredited several Wits mining courses for another five years.

The Engineering Council of South Africa has accredited several Wits mining courses for another five years

Eight out of nine undergraduate courses in the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment have been accredited for another 5-year cycle by the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA).

ECSA is the only statutory body tasked with the accreditation of engineering programmes in the country. Currently, there are 22 other countries on the signatory list of this accord. 

The accreditation gives programmes at Wits a much wider international reputation. In addition, it allows graduates to register with ECSA firstly, as candidate engineers and later in their careers as professional engineers.

Professor Thokozani Majozi, the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, welcomed the council on their visit and expressed Wits' commitment to producing high-level graduates in Engineering.

"This exercise is really about looking back on the last five years and seeing if we really are on the right track. Whatever we've done in the past falls to affect our trajectory moving forward," said Majozi.

"The university is celebrating its centenary this year and Mining Engineering has been the nucleus of this institution for over a hundred years ago. So we've been at this for a long time and we believe that we know what we're doing, but that does not mean we should rest on that knowledge."

Majozi added that these kind of external assessments are necessary as it ensures the faculty remains on the right track.

The Engineering Council of South Africa has accredited several Wits mining courses for another five years

Assessment Outcomes

After an extensive process of evaluation and assessment by the council, it was decided that eight out of nine courses would be renewed for another 5-year cycle.

A deficiency was cited in the Civil Engineering programme leaving the School with two years to address the deficiency, at which point the BSc (Civil Engineering) programme will be subjected to another accreditation.

Even though the programme will need to be accredited, the status of the qualification will not be impacted in any way in the intervening period.

ECSA is dedicated to the following nine undergraduate programmes offered by the Faculty:

  1. Electrical Engineering 
  2. Electrical with Information Engineering option 
  3. Civil Engineering 
  4. Mechanical Engineering 
  5. Industrial Engineering 
  6. Aeronautical Engineering 
  7. Mining Engineering 
  8. Chemical Engineering 
  9. Metallurgical Engineering 

Wits University's Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Zeblon Vilakazi has noted on numerous occasions the need for engineering to expand, given the shortage of engineers in the country. South Africa currently has one engineer for every 3200 people, compared to its international counterparts, e.g. India, China, Brazil, etc., who have on average one engineer for every 200 people.

Wits Mining

The School of Mining Engineering at Wits is recognised as one of the largest mining engineering programmes in the world.

It has one of the most successful growth rates of any of the engineering schools, consistently having an increase of students in its courses.

In Africa, Wits School of Mining Engineering is the only mining school with significant postgraduate activity and draws many of its students from countries throughout the continent.