June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
13.644.1 - 13.644.13
Global Engineering Education in the Americas: Challenges and Opportunities
There is an urgent call for changes in the educational model in the Americas to facilitate the formation of world class engineers for the 21 century described as a leader, visionary, and entrepreneur, committed to the social environment and with a clear sense of the common good; an engineering capable of creating new companies, being competitive in the global market, and bringing economy growth to the region. This call for a change in paradigm in engineering education to educate engineers with global competencies is coming from all sectors, and clearly requires defining and facilitating experiences that would result in the formation of world-class engineers for the Americas. This paper reports the education challenges and opportunities in forming global engineers for the Americas, as discussed in a recent workshop sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Latin American and Caribbean Consortium of Engineering Institutions (LACCEI), where professionals, scholars, researchers and students from the Americas met to exchange ideas and experiences, explore research opportunities, and develop international collaboration. The outcomes and recommendations from the working groups as well as the future actions suggested are discussed in this paper.
The Engineering for the Americas (EFTA) initiative is an academic, industrial and government grass roots effort that has evolved over the past five years. Its aim is to enhance engineering and technology education in the Western Hemisphere, and to strive for mutual recognition of engineering graduates across national boundaries and cross-border trade agreements, facilitating the flow of work and human resources throughout the hemisphere to optimal locations for distributed economic development1. The IV Summit of the Americas recognized the importance of the initiative and the Organization of American States (OAS), Engineering for the Americas (EFTA), the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) and World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO) organized the Engineering for the Americas Symposium2 at the end of last year in Lima, Peru. The Symposium focused on the needs of the productive sector for engineering graduates and capacity building; quality assurance in engineering education; and national planning for financing of upgrades to engineering education. The Final Report2 calls for educational reforms at the regional level that include the needs of the productive sector and preparing new engineers with attributes certified by transparent accreditation systems, which will further professional mobility, investments levels, and therefore economic development. The Final Report2 urges the academic sector to boost its collaboration with industry to develop a change in paradigm to educate the engineers of the 21st Century, which they describe as world class engineers, leaders, visionaries, and entrepreneurs, committed to the social environment and with a clear sense of the common good; an engineer who helps to create himself/herself, not look for work but create it.
In 2004 the National Academies published The Engineer of 20203, followed in 2005 by Educating the Engineer of 20204 in 2005. The National Academies was asked by representatives
Esparragoza, I., & Larrondo Petrie, M. M., & Sathianathan, D. (2008, June), Global Engineering Education In The Americas: Challenges And Opportunities Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3301
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