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Improving Engineering Education in Developing Countries: A Study

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Global Engineering Models: Curriculum Development, Improvements, and Partnerships

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

22.833.1 - 22.833.36



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Paper Authors


Jian Yu Auburn University and Tsinghua University, China

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Researcher, Tsinghua Center for Leadership Development and Research; Postdoctor, School of Economics & Management,Tsinghua University, Beijing, P.R.China,100084.
Visiting scholar, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama U.S., 36849.
Research Areas: Resources Integration, Strategy & Planning of Regional Economy, and Chinese Type Enterprise Management Science.


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Chetan S. Sankar Auburn University

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Chetan S. Sankar is a Professor of Management at Auburn University. He has received more than two million dollars from ten National Science Foundation grants to develop exceptional instructional materials that bring real-world issues into classrooms. He has won awards for research and teaching excellence from the Society for Information Management, NEEDS, Decision Sciences Institute, American Society for Engineering Education, American Society for Mechanical Engineering, International Network for Engineering Education & Research, and the Project Management Institute. He is the editor-in-chief of the Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education and the managing editor of the Journal of STEM Education: Innovations and Research. He can be contacted at

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Improving Engineering Education in Developing Countries: A StudyOver the past twenty years, India has become a major contributor to the global IT industryrevolution and has been number one among the developing countries. What factors havecontributed to India’s success? Language advantage is one of the reasons; however, engineeringeducation has also played a key role during this development; it became a main focus in thecountry after 1990.Since that date, many State Governments in India have encouraged the idea of self‐financedengineering colleges. The State Government does not provide financial support but facilitates thesetting up of such institutions. As a result, the Indian system of engineering education hasbecome vast, and so far a total number of 2,388 engineering degree institutions have beenestablished. In China, engineering education has also been considered highly important, and nowmost of the 100 key universities have assumed the task of engineering education. Similarly,Russia is also very strong in engineering. However, out of these three, India has made the largeststrides in the IT industry. This paper will compare engineering education among thesedeveloping countries by building a framework that includes three elements: strategy, model, andresources. The success of India in the IT industry tells us the importance of strategic leading,model building, and resource allocation in engineering education. This paper presents thefindings through the comparison of these three developing countries and discusses India’s risedue to these three aspects.However, India’s exponential growth in Technical Education has also lead to a huge gapbetween quality and quantity due to the restricted availability of qualified faculty. Luckily,several educational institutions in India have obtained World Bank funding and have recruitedU.S. educators to improve the quality of education to help them. What’s more, we had anopportunity to use several Laboratory for Innovative Technology and Engineering Education(LITEE) case studies to train engineering students at the National Institute of Technology,Trichy, during Summer 2008. We also trained several educators and students in a workshop atthe National Institute of Technology, Calicut, during Summer 2009. This paper provides detailsabout the World Bank program, training provided, case studies used, and results of an evaluation.These activities and practices improved the quality of engineering education at these institutionsand can be replicated in other countries, such as China and Russia, to further improveengineering education across the globe.The article concludes by discussing possibilities available to U.S. educators to help improveengineering education in other countries.

Yu, J., & Sankar, C. S. (2011, June), Improving Engineering Education in Developing Countries: A Study Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18114

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