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Employment Pattern And Educational Standards Of Engineering Graduates In The Lao Pdr

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1997 Annual Conference


Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Publication Date

June 15, 1997

Start Date

June 15, 1997

End Date

June 18, 1997



Page Count


Page Numbers

2.164.1 - 2.164.10



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Paper Authors

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M. Giger

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K. M. Siddiqui

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C. Loukides

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F. Coowar

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

Session 1260

Employment Pattern and Educational Standards of Engineering Graduates in the Lao PDR

F. Coowar, M. Giger, C. Loukides and K. M. Siddiqui1 Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne, Switzerland c/o National Polytechnic Institute, Vientiane, Lao PDR


The National Polytechnic Institute (NPI) is the only tertiary institution in the Lao PDR that produces engineering graduates at the Bachelor’s level in the major engineering fields of Civil, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering. Since its establishment under a UNESCO- sponsored project in 1984, a total of 294 graduates were awarded the Bachelor of Engineering degree in these engineering fields. In November 1994, a country-wide survey was conducted by the NPI to examine the employment pattern of these graduates and to determine the relevance of their engineering educational background gained at NPI. The survey targeted the 235 students who had graduated by the end of academic year 1993 and their employers. 68% of the graduates responded. Results of the survey have revealed that most graduates were employed by Government agencies and parastatal bodies. The quality of the graduates’ engineering education was perceived by the employers as being inadequate for engineering work - hence, the underemployment of the graduates as technologists rather than engineers.

In this paper, the main results of the survey are presented, and a discussion of the shortcomings of the old curricula and the appropriateness of a newly implemented curricula at the NPI is elaborated.


The National Polytechnic Institute was established in 1984 by the Government of the Lao PDR. An UNESCO-supported program provided financial assistance and experts, the majority of which came from Eastern Block Countries. Under this program, which lasted for 5 years, four departments - namely those of Basic Science, Civil, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering - came into being. The curricula developed for NPI were mostly in line with those of the Eastern Block countries.

In 1989, the International Development Agency of the World Bank signed a project agreement with the Lao Government. This agreement had a grant component for the upgrading of the curricula at NPI in order to comply with the Lao Government's "New Economic Mechanism", as well as a credit component for building new infrastructure and purchase of equipment.

1 Present address and address for correspondence: School of Mechanical Engineering, Universiti Sains Malaysia (KCP), 31750 Tronoh, Perak, Malaysia.

Giger, M., & Siddiqui, K. M., & Loukides, C., & Coowar, F. (1997, June), Employment Pattern And Educational Standards Of Engineering Graduates In The Lao Pdr Paper presented at 1997 Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 10.18260/1-2--6532

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