Changes to the access threshold to Aeronautical and Space Engineering

On Monday, March 23, the Council of the Aerospace Engineering Course approved the increase in the admission threshold to the Master's Degrees in Space and Aeronautics. As this is a rather substantial change, we believe it is appropriate to set out clearly and concisely:

  • What this measure will mean for future Aerospace students of Politecnico di Milano
  • How the transitional period will be managed for all current members
  • What are the reasons behind this change, also putting in perspective the Aerospace course compared to the other degree courses for number of students, average required and training

First of all, there is no increase in average from one day to the next to all current members; the increase from year to year will remain the same until the new threshold is reached, whose entry into force will be "effective" starting from the A.A. 2023/2024.

The current situation of Aerospace Engineering

For some years the number of new students enrolled in the Bachelor's Degree has been constantly increasing. In the face of a planned number of members of 480, Aerospace is now often exceeding it by non-negligible quantities.

Now, the planned number is not a ceiling on enrollment, but expresses in general how many students are expected to receive and to whom we can guarantee the quality education that distinguishes our University. Clearly exceeding this limit leads to management problems, such as overcrowding of classrooms.

The average for access to Aeronautics and Space, to date and for the Engineers of the Polytechnic, starts from 21 in three years, increasing by 0.5 for each semester up to a maximum of 24 (after 6 years). This is a very low threshold, set at the time with a much lower number of members. But it is also low compared to several other degree courses: a Mechanical Engineering for example, whose first year is widely shared with Aerospace, 23 is required right away**.**

The high number of students compared to the planned number together with a very low access threshold (also intended for those arriving from other universities) have therefore created a critical situation in the Aeronautics and Space courses; particularly the latter in a few years has almost tripled the number of students, affecting the quality of teaching.

The current situation of the other Engineering courses

The increase in students within our University has been a constant trend for several years. More and more Italian and international students choose the Politecnico di Milano to start or perfect their university studies, enriching the polytechnic community with their ideas and experiences. The University, however, is also a physical space, characterized by the constraints of size and space that we all know: the growth in the number of students therefore poses new challenges.

All courses of study have seen an increase in enrollment in a more or less sustained manner. It is therefore understandable that a lower entry threshold in one or more courses favors a transfer of students between the courses of study, testing the quality of the arrival courses.

"Why not increase the number of Students' Degrees in order to accommodate everyone?"

In short, availability of teachers, financing of their teaching activity and allocation of spaces, the latter much more critical in a Master's Degree course in which laboratories and equipped areas are used.

However, it is no secret that the Triennale di Aerospaziale is seen, by teachers as well as industries in the sector, not professionalizing but preparatory to the achievement of a specialization.

In the face of the revision of the entry requirements in the Master's Degree, we firmly believe that it is necessary to introduce the opportunity to gain experience in the field for those who, in the future, will decide to start their studies at Aerospace and, possibly, not continue beyond the Bachelor's Degree.

It is not at all a new concept, on the contrary; it is already implemented by other Engineering courses of the Polytechnic.

Let's take the example of Computer Engineering; in the third year, in the compilation of the plan, it is left free choice between taking the exams necessary to enter the master's courses without debts (specifically Mechanics and Technical Physics of 5 CFU), or to gain internship experience, specifically intended for those who intend to obtain only the Bachelor's Degree and immediately enter the world of work in the IT or telecommunications sector.

What if I don't continue beyond the Triennale?

In the near future, under the suggestion of us student representatives, a Commission of the Study Programme Council will be created to analyse the situation of the Bachelor's Degree. Among other things, this Commission will study how to implement study opportunities that can provide the First Level with more professionalizing and work-related skills for all those who already know that they have no intention of continuing further.

In addition, we remind you that beyond the Triennale you can always think of doing a Master's degree, of shorter duration than the Magistrals, or rely on the Career Service of the Politecnico di Milano.