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Joint Report of the Council and the General Board on the introduction of a degree of Doctor of Engineering (the Eng.D.): Notice

25 April 2005

The Council have considered the remarks made at the Discussion of this Report on 15 February 2005 (Reporter, p. 486). They have consulted the General Board and have agreed to comment as follows:

The remarks made by Professor C. J. Humphreys and Professor I. M. Hutchings deal with a number of the remarks made by other speakers. Professor Humphreys made the need for this degree clear. He also confirmed, in connection with Professor G. R. Evans's remarks, that the degree is not a 'taught doctorate' but, rather, that it requires three years of research together with satisfactory completion of a number of taught courses. Professor Evans raised issues of equivalency with the Ph.D. Degree. As the Report makes clear, the amount of research required is directly comparable to that required for the Ph.D. Degree. The Council and the General Board also made clear in their Report that they would look to the Board of Graduate Studies, in consultation with participating Degree Committees and institutions, to make the distinctive characteristics of the Eng.D. Degree clear in publicly available information and in the guidance given to students, supervisors, and examiners. Dr D. R. de Lacey and Professor Evans referred to the potential resource implications and also suggested that the reasons for introducing this degree are primarily financial. So far as the first point is concerned, the Report summarizes the funding available in the event that an institution is able to admit students for the Eng.D. Degree. Professor Humphreys made clear that, without this degree, the University will not be in a position to participate fully in a major EPSRC initiative. The Council and the General Board believe that is in the University's best interests to pay due heed to the studentship policies of a major research council, if those policies are appropriate to Cambridge. The University for many years has had strong links with industry through doctoral studentship funding (for example, the former 'CASE' studentships) and the Council and the Board consider the Eng.D. Degree another form of such links.

Dr de Lacey referred to the commitment about the introduction of new degree titles given by the Council at the time that the Vet.M.D. Degree was introduced in 1999. Changes in graduate education since that time are such that the Council accept that such a commitment is no longer appropriate. Proposals must necessarily arise from particular sets of circumstance to which it is incumbent on the University to respond appropriately. Some national developments may be suitable for Cambridge whilst others may not.

Since the Joint Report was published, the Registrary has been informed of technical difficulties which have arisen in the manufacture of the Vet.M.D. hood (of mid-cherry silk with a lining of scarlet cloth), on which the proposed Eng.D. hood was based. The Council have therefore agreed to withdraw the amendments to the regulations for academical dress proposed in Recommendation III(e) of the Report. The Council hope to publish a Grace proposing a revised design for the Vet.M.D. and Eng.D. hoods later in the Easter Term. (The first Vet.M.D. Degree is not expected to be conferred before June 2006.)

The Council, with the concurrence of the General Board, are accordingly submitting a Grace (Grace 2, p. 632) to the Regent House for the approval of the recommendations in the Report as amended in the paragraph above.

25 April 2005ALISON RICHARD, Vice-ChancellorMIKE CLARKD. W. B. MACDONALD
 R. J. ANDERSONGEMMA DONALDSONJAMES MATHESON
 A. J. BADGERBOB DOWLINGMARTIN REES
 Z. BARANSKIDAVID S. INGRAMDAVID SIMON
 RICHARD BARNESRUTH KEELINGJOAN M. WHITEHEAD
 NIGEL BROWND. LOWTHERRICHARD WILSON
 WILLIAM BROWN  
 
13 April 2005ALISON RICHARD, Vice-ChancellorM. J. DAUNTONMELVEENA MCKENDRICK
 JOHN BELLRICHARD HUNTERROGER PARKER
 TOM BLUNDELLDREW LIVINGSTONKEITH PETERS
 WILLIAM BROWND. W. B. MACDONALDI. H. WHITE

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Cambridge University Reporter 27 April 2005
Copyright © 2005 The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Cambridge.