Exploring Research and Contextual Relevance in Engineering Education: The Case of a University in South Africa
Kehdinga George Fomunyam

Dr. Kehdinga George Formunyam, Teaching and Learning Development Center, Mangosuthu University of Technology, South Africa.
Manuscript received on April 20, 2020. | Revised Manuscript received on May 01, 2020. | Manuscript published on May 10, 2020. | PP: 1093-1098 | Volume-9 Issue-7, May 2020. | Retrieval Number: G4893059720/2020©BEIESP | DOI: 10.35940/ijitee.G4893.059720
Open Access | Ethics and Policies | Cite | Mendeley
© The Authors. Blue Eyes Intelligence Engineering and Sciences Publication (BEIESP). This is an open access article under the CC-BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/)

Abstract: The need for improvement in production and processes and to have a better approach to it necessitates the imperative of engineering education. The practice of engineering education takes place in a context and it is also influenced by the context in which it takes place. Context is the cultural framework or environment in which technical knowledge and skills are learned. Globally, there are changes along socio-economic, environmental, and demographic lines and its driving profound changes in engineering education in the society. This study explored research and contextual relevance in engineering education using a South African University as a case study. The choice of University of cape town for this case study was informed by the ranking of the institution as one of the best universities of engineering in South Africa. The university also has a center for research in engineering education from which research focus was picked to establish its relevance. Findings from this study revealed that engineering research takes place Disciplinary, environment, economic, social, cultural, political context. From the study, it was revealed that university of cape town has five major research focus in engineering education which include teaching and learning in science and engineering, students in transition, knowledge and curriculum, higher education policy and institutional dynamics and evaluation and development of methodologies. These thematic areas were explored for contextual relevance. The study recommended that The study recommends that effort be placed more on research on digitization to ensure relevance with the current clime and also, researches in University of Cape Town should be tailored towards the Fourth Industrial revolution for relevance 
Keywords: Engineering, Research, Engineering education, South Africa, Context, Contextual relevance.
Scope of the Article: Smart Learning and Innovative Education Systems