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Decline Of Academic Standards In Engineering Education?

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.321.1 - 6.321.12

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Paper Authors

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Roman Morawski

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Andrzej Krasniewski

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1360

Decline of Academic Standards in Engineering Education ? – Polish Experience –

Andrzej Krasniewski and Roman Z. Morawski Warsaw University of Technology

I. Introduction

The process of declining academic standards, observed at American institutions of higher education, has been reported in the 90s by many authors; an extensive review of the relevant sources may be found in a paper submitted to this conference by Brian Manhire from Ohio University1. In our paper, we discuss some aspects of this, in fact, world-wide process that can be observed at Warsaw University of Technology, the largest institution of engineering education in Poland.

We focus on: − university-level academic regulations; − course grading patterns at a selected faculty – the Faculty of Electronics and Information Technology. Talking about the university-level academic regulations, we report the changes that occurred in the procedure that is used to determine the final grade for the program (in Poland, this final grade appears on the diploma). As a result of these changes – even if we assume no grade inflation for individual courses that the curriculum is composed of – the percentage of students who graduate with the final grade outstanding or very good would be now significantly higher than it used to be just few years ago. It may seem to be a paradox that, at the same time, the quality of preparation of the candidates for engineering studies has been systematically decreasing in Poland since 1989.

We make an attempt to explain our observations in terms of both world-wide phenomena afflicting the civilized societies and local phenomena related to the political and economic transformation in Poland after 1989.

II. Preliminary explanations on the Polish system of higher education

In this section, we explain some specific features of the Polish system of higher education that are different from the corresponding regulations in other countries (in particular, in the United States).

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Morawski, R., & Krasniewski, A. (2001, June), Decline Of Academic Standards In Engineering Education? Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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