A new critical writing and thinking skills course is set to make Wits engineering students more employable.

The Critical Thinking and Language Development course was introduced as both a compulsory subject and a standalone credit to Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment (FEBE) first year students.

The introduction of the subject has resulted in a restructuring of the old FEBE degree.

“The Critical Thinking and Language Development course in FEBE attempts to develop existing literacy levels,” said Angelo Fick, a senior lecturer in the FEBE academic unit.

“Employers want their employees to be able to conduct themselves in a professional manner and possessing the ability to write and think critically will aid them in the process,” said Head of the Construction Economics and Management department David Root.

“The course aims to intensifying first year FEBE students’ critical thinking abilities, focusing on skills of analysis, argumentation, presentation, and some creative thinking,” said Fick.

Not all FEBE students are pleased with the introduction of the new degree.

“The course helps me to understand how the world works, but I get higher marks for Physics than I do for critical thinking,” said Kiren Hurun, 1st year BSc Construction Studies

Regothabetse Mashishi told Vuvuzela he struggles with the critical thinking course, since English is not his first language.

Head of the English Department Professor Titlestad said: “I see the introduction of such a subject to FEBE students as being beneficial, as one needs to thinking creatively and critically in order to express their ideas.”

Critical thinking is currently being taught at a first year level to several schools in the Faculty of Engineering.

The critical thinking course runs for the first semester of the Wits academic year and includes both written and oral exams.