Raleigh International and Newcastle University are working together to offer final year Masters of Engineering students a pioneering module as part of their studies.
The School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences programme sees teams of up to 24 students undertaking an overseas infrastructure project alongside marginalised communities that Raleigh works with in Malaysian Borneo.
Prior to travelling to Borneo the students produce feasibility designs and varied presentations which are assessed by University with input from Raleigh staff. This project work explores the development issues facing poor communities, which helps them to determine the most appropriate solution. This includes decisions based on what materials are available locally, and the ability of the community to maintain the system. The programme requires the students to find a successful balance between the theoretical knowledge and practical implementation in a challenging environment. The groups gain experience in working with limited resources and materials, and doing so within different cultures. In addition, the programme includes professional networking and an industry focused information sharing seminar with representatives from the Institute of Engineers in Malaysia.
“This innovative programme has a multitude of benefits for the students, the university, and the communities in which Raleigh works…it provides the opportunity for the students to apply and develop their engineering skills, whilst increasing their leadership and team working effectiveness. They get an incredible overseas learning experience which will have a genuine and long lasting impact on the participants’ career, and the community development.”
– Dr. Jean Hall, Lecturer in Engineering Geology, School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences
During the entire programme the students are assessed by Raleigh staff on specific criteria which include project management, teamwork and leadership.
The 2013 pilot programme saw 19 Students and 3 Newcastle staff complete 2 Gravity Fed Water systems in Kampung Samparita. The systems provide over 50 beneficiary households with a fresh, and reliable source of water. The group also volunteered in the local school, delivering language and water focused education sessions and forged a strong relationship with members of the Institute of Engineers, Malaysia.
“Raleigh International is delighted to be part of such a valuable programme and proud to be engaging skilled young engineers in the delivery of projects. We are not only ensuring the successful long term implementation of the projects, but also broadening the understanding and skills of the next generation of engineers and connecting them with real sustainable development issues that they will be working on throughout their careers.”
– Adam Scott, Corporate Account Executive, Raleigh International