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Alexander Bell:"BHOS students usually demonstrate excellent results"

Alexander Bell, associate director of Studies for Engineering School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Teaching and Learning, Heriot-Watt University, UK: "BHOS students usually demonstrate excellent results"


- Exams are invigilated on your part. How do you mark the exam papers? What are the main measures you are guided by?

- Remember that we have examinations in Edinburgh, Dubai and Kuala Lumpur campuses of Heriot-Watt University, so there is quite a complicated process. This is a Course Responsible Person (CRP) who oversees all the marking in a particular course. I am for example the CRP for B47AC: Foundation Engineering A. Only approved markers are allowed to mark examinations. There is a common marking scheme with an allocation of marks for each part of the question. All approved markers follow the same marking scheme.Furthermore, Heriot-Watt has a system of checking (which we call “green inking”) in which we check that every examination has been properly marked and that the exam marks have been corrected entered on our results databases. And also remember that all examinations are anonymous, so we have to mark the scripts without knowing which student is being considered. BHOS students usually demonstrate excellent results.


- While looking at the results do you pay attention to the theoretical knowledge or logical competence of students?

- Both theoretical knowledge and the professional skill of problem-solving are tested in Heriot-Watt examinations. All students – whether from Edinburgh, Dubai, Malaysia or Baku – find the “professional problem solving” to be the more complicated and demanding.


- Could you tell us about your professional background and education?

- On my academic qualifications, I have an Honours degree in Physics and a PhD in Acoustics, both from University of St Andrews in Scotland. I also have a Diploma in Education from University of Edinburgh. These academic qualifications mean that I am able to teach Mathematics and Physics at Scottish school, colleges and universities.Professionally, I am a member of the British Institute of Physics, a Chartered Physicist and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. All professional qualifications ensure that I remain up-to-date with both scientific and pedagogical developments.


- What would you like to recommend/advice to our students?

- For all BHOS students, I would recommend that you all keep your destination in mind: you are going to be Chemical or Petroleum Engineering. The more you can integrate the material from all of your courses, the better engineers you will become.


- Do you have any other comments about BHOS?

- It is always a pleasure to visit BHOS for the examinations. Everyone, whether Rector, Administrator, Academic, Librarian, Student, Cleaner or Driver, makes us very welcome and everyone is very helpful and supportive. In particular, I would like to thank BHOS Rector Elmar Gasimov for his generous hospitality and Vice Rector Rashad Hasanov for his support and attention to detail. We would also like to thank all BHOS staff who provided us with all necessary conditions during our visit.