Industry and the Development of a New System of Higher Technological Education in the UK 1955–1965: A Shared Responsibility?

  • John Heywood
Part of the Philosophy of Engineering and Technology book series (POET, volume 32)


There is a continuing conflict between education and industry that begins with the different perceptions that educators and industrialists have of the purposes of tertiary education through to university study. For example at the present time there is a pressure from industry on the higher education sector to prepare new graduates immediately for work. In so doing industry places the responsibility for education and training on the institutions of higher education and through their fees on the students for their education and training. The purpose of this chapter is to examine the extent to which responsibility was shared between the colleges and industry when England and Wales had a national system of higher technological education and training based on the sandwich principle in the 1950s and 1960s, and to show that industrialists working with educationalists are capable of producing innovatory curricula. Harold Silver the Historian of the Council for National Academic Awards 1964–1989 (A Higher Education (1990) London, Falmer) reports that of the thesis and dissertation literature for the earlier period, that is the period too which this chapter relates there were only two that were relevant, one of which was the authors (p 279). Such research as there was is documented in Heywood, J. and R. Ann Abel (1964) Technical Education and Training in the United Kingdom. Research in Progress 1962–1964. Slough. The National Foundation for Educational Research). If engineering education is to progress practitioners in both academia and industry will require an understanding of the substantial knowledge base that has been developed, which implies some kind of training. Only in this way will they learn to share responsibility at the operational and executive levels of curriculum delivery and planning.


Academia Accreditation Assessment Competence Curriculum innovation Industry Industrial training NCTA Percy committee Policy Problem/project based learning Responsibility Sandwich (cooperative) courses Technological education 



This chapter is a development of two papers published by the author at the 2011 and 2014 annual conferences of the American Society for Engineering Education (Heywood 2011, 2014). I thank the Society for permission to reprint extracts from these papers.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Heywood
    • 1
  1. 1.Trinity College DublinDublinIreland

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