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Solution on how engineering text books could be made affordable to mechanical engineering students - Essay Example

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Solution on how engineering text books could be made affordable to mechanical engineering students

Amadallo D.1 argues that, "I could have performed much better than I am doing now if all or at least a good fraction of the text books I've always needed were made available. My grades are affected negatively by the fact that I do not have most of the recommended books". Asked to explain why this is so, the student claims that though the texts are available in the stores, the price tag on each is disappointing! The cry of this student reflects that of the many students taking the course in the many higher institutions of learning all over the world. There is need to find a solution to this "price tag" problem, so that we can be certain that the future mechanical engineers are trained appropriately as per the demands of their dynamic field.
Publishers of the mechanical engineering books on the other hand do not see any unjustifiable reasons for the high costs of the products; the books have higher production costs anyway, even in terms of quality production as compared to the other fields! The scope or range of material that a particular book customary includes and the contents, referring to the subjects or topics usually covered in any engineering book directly implies higher costs (D. W. King and C Tenopir.1999). The publishers claim that the blame should be laid on the stringent authorship restrictions, the policy imposing the limitations on who is eligible to submit any material for publication, which renders the field duly uncompetitive. The expensive acquisition of the many international publications that enjoy well deserved reputation, regional disparities that might exist, for example, addressing a methodological topic having little relevance elsewhere and high editing costs are also to blame. Students on the other hand do no agree with the claims laid by the publishers. They blame the publishers of taking advantage of the belief that the course is generally expensive citing the current price of a new algebra textbook approaching $110 with the publishers bringing out a new edition every three to four years just to prevent students from selling their used books (digg, 2006). The quality of the text contents should never be compromised and the validity of the authors should even be exposed to more stringent rules to protect the authenticity of any publications made. The students argue that techniques should be devised to make the unaffordable texts available to the students who need them, and this basically involves a modulation of the publishing costs. This can, for example be achieved by introducing mergers where senior engineering students and any willing departmental lecturers and scholars with a motivation to engage in the business of publishing are involved in editing, marketing or in sales and in any other aspect related to publishing operations, as a cost sharing initiative between the publishers of mechanical engineering text books and mechanical engineering students. To facilitate the provision of high quality and latest text books to the students at reasonable costs, it has been proposed that the books recommended for each course in the entrusted curriculum should be adopted as textbooks by all the universities (Revised Curriculum of Mechanical Engineering, 2003).
The need for technical speciality is another major reason that contributes to the high cost of ...Show more


Today, the cost of undertaking a mechanical engineering course is higher than ever before. This is evidenced by, among other factors, the large number and the high costs of the engineering text books that the student has to purchase to remain both in tune with the latest technological advancements, which are shifting very fast, and to ensure a retained competitiveness in class…
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Solution on how engineering text books could be made affordable to mechanical engineering students essay example
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