Heriot-Watt receives IChemE accreditation at three campuses

Article by Adam Duckett

Heriot-Watt University
The Dubai campus is the first in the Middle East to have a degree programme accredited by IChemE

HERIOT-WATT University has had its chemical engineering programmes at its campuses in Dubai and Malaysia accredited by IChemE.

The accreditation of degree programmes in Dubai is the first for IChemE in the Middle East region. Heriot-Watt’s original programme at its base in Scotland has also been reaccredited.

“We are extremely pleased to receive IChemE accreditation for our chemical engineering programmes at our Dubai, Edinburgh and Malaysia campuses,” said Graeme White, Professor of Chemical Engineering at Heriot-Watt University. “Heriot-Watt is proud to be a global university, offering the same student experience no matter where students study.

“This accreditation is proof of the commitment and hard work of our faculty members and students to ensure our programmes meet requirements set by IChemE. It is particularly pleasing for colleagues in Dubai to acknowledge that Heriot-Watt University is offering the only accredited chemical engineering programme in the Middle East. The Covid-19 outbreak added another challenge to running an accreditation visit across three international campuses and it is thanks to all those involved, the IChemE assessment panel, staff and students at the three campuses, who made the process the success it was.”

The accreditors said in their report that they were impressed with “the coordination and harmonisation of teaching and learning across the three campuses” and noted it is “an example both of innovation and of good practice for multi-campus provision.”

Colin Webb, University Accreditation Assessor for IChemE, noted there was no sense that Heriot-Watt’s original base in Scotland was serving as a “mothership” and it was good to see there are academic subject leads from all three campuses.

“Students identify as students of Heriot-Watt University not, for example Heriot-Watt Dubai. Having a name that does not have obvious geographical ties, clearly helps achieve a multi-campus identity.”

The six programmes accredited include a BEng Chemical Engineering course at all three campuses, and MEng Chemical Engineering courses in Malaysia and Scotland. IChemE accreditation provides a benchmark against other programmes across the world and the BEng provides students with evidence of meeting educational-base requirements when applying for Incorporated Engineer (IEng), while accredited MEng programmes provide evidence for Chartered Engineer (CEng).

IChemE accredits programmes at more than 60 universities in 15 countries. Heriot-Watt is the second university to simultaneously have three identical programmes accredited across three separate campuses. The first was the University of Nottingham with its campuses in the UK, Malaysia and China.

Correction: this story originally said that ‘The accreditation in Dubai is the first for IChemE in the Middle East region’. It is in fact the first accreditation of degree programmes. IChemE previously accredited a Diploma at Abu Dhabi Men’s College.

Article by Adam Duckett

Editor, The Chemical Engineer

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