Engineering Students Must Rub Shoulders with their Workforce
Canterbury University’s dining firewall between its students and its campus site construction force personnel represents the most valuable control experiment into the causes and effects of the nation’s quality control and productivity problems which is the separate development of management and those who actually do the work.
Canterbury University in the middle of the last century was a crucible of engineering science, notably seismic science.
A series of earthquakes which coincidentally began in Christchurch demonstrated that the post World War 2 surge in seismic technology has somehow tapered off and that there has been for quite a few years a chasm between theory and practice
In other words the gap between what is taught and assimilated in degree courses and what is actually installed, notably in buildings.
Many point to the problem having its roots in the cultural void between those who emerge from a university background and those who emerge from a technical and hands-on apprentice background.
So why did the university with its large investment in engineering degree courses allow to be discarded the opportunity in the form of shared canteen facilities for its undergraduates to rub shoulders with the very people responsible for realising the very plans that they are being educated to produce?
This alarm appears to have been sounded over this bizarre, contradictory, yet indicative situation by the canteen operators themselves. They saw an immense volume of their potential income being diverted from their established canteens and being diverted into segregated mobile worker-only canteens
The students and their tutors appeared to have accepted the discarding of an opportunity to rub shoulders with these technical implementers of the theory for which they sought academic degrees.
The existence was referred to of individual identification markings, beyond that of high-viz, on each construction worker’s attire.
The matter was left to dangle. Yet it is hard not to draw the conclusion that such identification was/is in place so that should any nuisance be created, then the source can readily be pin-pointed.
The proportion of females who are part of the university construction force remains to be specified.
No mention was made of Canterbury University’s ample law faculty. Should any such occasion arise for such litigation then such an in-house resource might similarly use the doubtless horrifying experience to enhance the practical experience of its many students?
We are left though with the impression of the academics and with their refined sensibilities and their discomfort while dining of being quite literally within coo-eee of people who actually work and do so in the classical sense propounded by mathematical philosophers of “moving material in relation to the surface of the Earth.”
The university canteen operators did not appear to be worried about any mud or such debris brought into their premises by the university construction workforce.
The university is well-known for its extensive academic arts faculties and again an opportunity has been passed over for its students to study at close hand the people whose wealth-generating skills lie at the base of their hoped-for subsequent incomes.
The incident might well become the subject of a thesis, perhaps a doctoral one? This would emerge from Canterbury University’s Sociology faculty – and shared perhaps by its Psychology Department too?
Canterbury University’s Anthropology Department meanwhile may find the matter of interest in regarding to the disquieting emergence of hierarchies that is introducing under official guise these unnecessary and damaging ruptures in society?
Ones that impede the information exchange between the academics and the applied practical people who implement their plans.
| from the MSCNewsWire reporters' desk | Sunday 30 April 2017 |||