Minerals Tertiary Education Council
Since 2000, the Minerals Tertiary Education Council (MTEC) has coordinated an investment of more than $65 million in skills and education initiatives for the mining sector.
The Minerals Tertiary Education Council (MTEC) was established in 2000 by the MCA to develop more suitably-qualified professionals for the minerals industry.
This network of university departments focuses on the undergraduate disciplines of mining engineering and metallurgy, and a specialist graduate program in minerals geoscience.
The highly successful long-standing programs include:
The Indigenous Australian Engineering Schools program
The MCA has been a foundation sponsor of the Indigenous Australian Engineering School program for more than 20 years. By exposing Indigenous secondary school students to the employment opportunities in engineering the schools program has seen incredible success. Ninety eight per cent of students in the program complete their year 12 studies, with 25 per cent going on to study a STEM course at university.
The Metallurgical Education Partnership (MEP)
MEP is a formal partnership between the MCA, Curtin University, Murdoch University and the University of Queensland 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. The annual student evaluation survey has achieved a more than 85 per cent satisfaction rate for the last three years. The course is highly valued by industry and is seen as critical support to the few remaining universities teaching metallurgy as an undergraduate engineering degree.
The National Exploration Undercover School (NExUS)
Commencing in 2016 and administered by the University of Adelaide, NExUS is a high quality finishing school for geologists that culminates in an intensive summer school with substantial fieldwork. As part of the course, participants meet and work with mineral exploration leaders from industry, government and research institutions to develop the pipeline of geologists.
Supporting innovative pilot programs
Since 2020, a number of innovative pilot programs have also been supported by MTEC. These include:
The Mining Engineering Curriculum pilot
The MCA partnered with Curtin University to pilot a mining engineering curriculum update. The update incorporated industry changes due to innovation and technology, work-integrated-learning opportunities and industry placements for academics. The refreshed course has seen a 50 per cent increase in enrolments at Curtin University and is being rolled out to other universities.
Foundations of Modern Mining micro credential program
The MCA partnered with Curtin University and the University of Queensland to develop a six-course Foundations of Modern Mining micro credential program that provides a professional certificate for graduates. The program was accessed by over 3,000 learners during the pilot phase and is self-paced and delivered fully online. The program provides pathways for those already in the industry and for people in allied industries.
Developed a new Associate Engineering Degree course
In response to a shortage for mining engineers the MCA partnered with Central Queensland University and University of Southern Queensland to develop an Associate Engineering Degree course as a pathway for para-professional engineers to assist mining engineers. The new course included new modules on Automation in Mining, Sensors and Data in Mining, Sustainability it Mining and Resource Geology.
The course has seen a 60 per cent increase in enrolments across both universities and is available through Central Queensland Universities campuses in Perth and Greater Western Australia.
Gamification of Earth Science Curriculum
The MCA commissioned CoRE Learning Foundation in Western Australian to gamify elements of the national earth science curriculum to boost student interest in STEM pathways.
Two games were produced. The Year 6 game Resource, Respond, Rescue – developed through the Minecraft education edition platform –sees mine Emergency Response Teams joining SES volunteers to protect a fictitious community in Kings Canyon in the Northern Territory and the mine from emergencies including bushfire, flood, earthquake and tsunami. The Year 8 game ‘Old as Dirt!’ uses the pit to port journey of iron ore from a mine in Western Australia’s Pilbara region – including automated equipment and other technology – to introduce Earth Sciences to students through a web-based ‘party game’ format.
Investing in education
The MCA is a gold sponsor of the national Teacher Earth Science Education Programme (TESEP), established in 2008 to assist development of science teachers through nine professional development modules as well as online resources and minerals kits provided at no-cost.