The Minerals Tertiary Education Council (MTEC) was established in 2000 by the MCA to build capacity in Australia’s higher education sector and to increase the supply and quality of suitably-qualified professionals for the minerals industry.
The MTEC review in 2015 resulted in the MCA Board adopting a revised program to support an at-cost rather than the previous demand-driven funding model for minerals-related programs from 2016. MCA initiated a further review of the MTEC program during 2017 in the context of the future minerals workforce, the recommendations of which will be implemented during 2018.
Industry provides support to engage with university schools and departments offering specialist minerals-related higher education programs on a nationally collaborative basis.
Through MTEC, the MCA has built a unique, innovative and powerful model for strategic and purposeful industry investment in minerals-related tertiary education.
This network of select university departments is dedicated to achieving true world-class education by operating in the development and delivery of undergraduate learning in the core disciplines of mining engineering and metallurgy, and a specialist graduate program in minerals geoscience.
Undergraduate intakes for most minerals higher education disciplines in Australia have experienced notable declines. Lower bulk commodity prices, rationalisation at the company level, the rise of anti-mining activism and media coverage of these issues have created a post-boom sentiment that has contributed to the pronounced drop-off in enrolments over the past few years since 2012.
MCA research has also shown that many younger people know little or nothing about careers in the mining industry, underlining the importance of industry-wide efforts to implement a more effective awareness campaign as part of our future workforce strategy.
Metallurgical Education Partnership
Metallurgical Education Partnership (MEP) is a formal partnership between MTEC and its partner universities for collaborative teaching of the capstone metallurgical process and plant design course for fourth-year engineering undergraduate students.
MEP produces 100 per cent of all four-year trained Australian extractive metallurgists.
National Exploration Undercover School (NExUS)
The industry support of minerals geoscience underwent a significant change in 2016. The Minerals Geoscience Honours (MGH) program concluded in 2015 and has been replaced by the National Exploration Undercover School (NExUS).
NExUS is a prestigious summer school for tomorrow’s leading mineral explorers and hosted by the University of Adelaide as a collaboration of universities, government and industry partners. It aims to deliver a truly world-class national program of training for 30 enthusiastic and engaged students wanting to acquire specialist minerals geoscience skills.
The industry benefits from a cohort of students keen to pursue careers in the minerals industry.
The second NExUS program ran over three weeks in November and December 2017, with week-long modules in Adelaide, the Adelaide Hills region, and Yorke Peninsula. Students came from every state and territory, with many MCA member company providing industry sessions as part of the program.
Visit the NExUS website here to find out more.
Minerals Industry National Associate Degree
Industry-supported associate degree programs in mining engineering and minerals geoscience continue to be offered by the University of Southern Queensland and Central Queensland University with support from the MEA and NExUS programs to ensure quality curriculum for these para-professional qualifications.