n South African Journal of Higher Education - One is a human being first and then an engineer




The author's research was inspired by the assumption that the Communication Skills course presently offered to science and engineering students at technikons in South Africa does not appear to satisfy the cognitive and workplace needs of an ever-changing engineering industry. Since the engineer belongs to a profession whose objective is to improve the conditions of human life by changing the physical environment and the systems of human life, the engineer has a great responsibility to society. In order to discharge that responsibility, engineers must be versatile and competent in a broad spectrum of communication skills. The newly graduated engineer's needs are: more liberal arts and humanities, some knowledge of a second language to better understand other cultures and to work with people internationally, and a better preparation for the legal, social and ethical problems they will face in industry. It is hoped that the conclusions that arose from the author's research and the recommendations made will provide the next generation of engineering students with the tools necessary for productive and rewarding careers in the global workplace (Narsee 1997).


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