The Minerals Tertiary Education Council (MTEC) was conceived in 2000 by the Minerals Council of Australia at a time when a sustained minerals downturn was forcing minerals schools and departments to close. Since this time, MTEC has made significant investments into nationally collaborative higher education programs in mining engineering, metallurgy and minerals geoscience, involving some seventeen Australian universities, to build capacity in these core disciplines. This paper will provide an overview of MTEC, outline these successful industry/higher education collaboration models, and describe the collaborative strategies and processes that were created and employed to support the MTEC programs.
This paper presents a working model of the collaborative processes utilised by MTEC and its education partners in the formation, development and growth of three national programs. It also provides an overview of the collaborative tools that can be used to support industry-led collaborative learning in specialist engineering disciplines.
Key operational elements of the three unique MTEC programs are individually mapped against success factors in industry/higher education collaboration. These include the contextual, organisational and process factors that ensure the objective and subjective goals of the collaboration are reached. This approach tests whether the confidence which MTEC and the Australian minerals industry has in the success of its programs, fits an overall model of success in industry/higher education collaboration (as proposed by Thune, 2011).
Each of the MTEC programs respectively and collectively demonstrate the existence of contextual, organisational and process factors that define success in industry/higher education collaboration. This in turn demonstrates that the objective and/or subjective goals for each program are indicators of success. The MTEC programs predate Thune’s (2011) model and have continued over a number of uninterrupted years. This validates the MTEC approach beyond the casual indicators of success.
The MTEC programs collectively address the various categories that define the success factors for industry/university collaborations. Accordingly, either the overall MTEC approach or any of its individual programs can be considered as successful models, which other industries or sectors could use as a basis for collaboration with higher education to achieve specific objective and/or subjective goals.
Minerals education, Higher education collaboration, Minerals Tertiary Education Council (MTEC).