Authors: Hebblewhite, B; Knights, P


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Hebblewhite, B & Knights, P 2011, 'Mining education – achievements and challenges', in Y Potvin (ed.), Strategic versus Tactical 2011: Proceedings of the Fourth International Seminar on Strategic versus Tactical Approaches in Mining, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 247-259,

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This paper reviews the progress achieved through the strategic initiative taken collectively between the major mining educators and the Minerals Council of Australia some years ago with the formation of Mining Education Australia (MEA). MEA is an industry-endorsed, collaborative national engineering education programme delivering higher quality comprehensively educated mining engineers; while at the same time providing greater underpinning support to sustain the mining programmes at each member university. Just as the mining industry is truly international, so is the education sector seeking stronger international linkages. The paper will discuss some international education issues, plus some new initiatives being pursued by MEA and member universities. The paper will further discuss some alternative education pathway options for addressing the mining skills shortages through postgraduate education initiatives at The University of New South Wales (UNSW). The final but critical element of the paper will address the critical problem of developing a pool of suitable future academics. Without an adequate supply of young and up and coming mining academics, all of the graduate supply projections are under threat, as is the whole question of sustainability of the mining education sector. Set against an ageing academic population, there is an urgent need for fostering and developing future academics – a path that commences at the PhD enrolment stage.

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