BIM will be a major aspect in the future of the construction industry I think that’s clear; I also feel that Higher Education will play a major part assisting to prepare Graduates with the relevant skills required. Is however, the current structure in place sufficient enough to provide the industry with BIM ready, or at least reasonably BIM skilled Graduates today though and if not what challenges may Higher Education face? The Challenges in Integrating BIM into Education;
This week’s article will be looking at the challenges that Higher Education Institutes will or may be facing in the near future. BIM is clearly on the rise within the construction industry as covered in my previous article on BIM maturity levels, which referenced that according to the NBS National BIM Survey 2013, 47% of you out there in the UK have already at some point reached BIM ‘Maturity Level 2’. But where do we really stand in education? With this in mind I’m going to be concentrating this week on Higher Education at an undergraduate level.
Looking across the spectrum of Higher Education in the UK it doesn’t take long to establish that there clearly are some institutions that are ahead of the game in regards to BIM content and courses. This is at least true at Post-Graduate level, with an increasing number of Higher Education institutes offering BIM courses at Masters Level, with a selection of institutions beginning to offer some BIM content at undergraduate level as well but not as prevalent. It is at undergraduate level that personally I feel needs to be improved in the majority of cases.
An important criterion concerning the success of the adoption of BIM will be the sharing of the responsibilities. The adoption of BIM into an educational department cannot solely be the work of one BIM initiator, as experienced by many industry drivers in BIM’s early days. The correct framework and desire needs to be in place amongst all staff. Support for BIM in education has to be provided right form the top down; through Government to university heads, department heads to lecturer’s and then dissipated from the lecturers to the students accordingly. I feel a clearer path forward needs to be outlined by all parties on what Higher Education’s part will be in the integration of BIM across the construction industry, beyond that of ‘It has an important part to play’. This will ensure that everyone involved is pushing in the same direction, it’s no good education flying off with ideas and learning outcomes if it’s not what the Government, education or industry require. Education shouldn’t be solely designed to fulfil industry’s needs but it is part of Higher Education’s institutions responsibility to ensure that Graduates have a good chance of employability when they leave university, and if BIM is an industry required skill then it falls on education to assist in instilling this skill into their Graduates.
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