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Innovative Measures To Improve Performances And Supervision In Post Graduate Studies

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1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.257.1 - 1.257.5

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Paper Authors

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Manon Bourgeois

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Gilbert Drouin

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

Session 1255 .— - ...... .. Innovative Measures to Improve ..... Performances and Supervision in Post-Graduate Studies

Gilbert Drouin, Manon Bourgeois Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal Montr6a1 (Qu6bec) Canada


The universities of most industrialized countries of the world are presently confronted with at least three specific problems in regards to the development of post-graduate education: the decline in clientele, the insufficiency in the rate of degrees awarded and the prolongation of the length of studies. The number of students that register is insufllcient to maintain the activity of the past decade and when they persevere to continue their studies it is often at an unsatis~ing rhythm. In the province of Quebec, the financing universities is attributed according to specific formula that does take into account these different parameters, So we do not have any choices, we must be imaginative and quickly find solutions in order to improve our performances.

After considering this problem, it became obvious that we must primarily improve our own fi.mctioning in order to enable us to render our programs appealing and help students to improve their efficiency. The object of this communication is, therefore, to describe the innovative measures that we have taken in order to improve our performances and the supervision of our post-graduate students.

1. An Evolving Situation: Enrolment, Rate of Degrees Awarded and the Length of Studies

In the last ten years, the development of post-graduate studies has shown a rapid increased followed by a decline observed in the last two years. The future leaves us with three main problems: the decline in clientele, the insufficiency in the rate of degrees awarded and the prolongation of the length of studies. Such an evolution has a direct impact on our resources and as a consequence we can no longer manage our establishments in the same way and there is a risk deteriorating performance. B y way of example, a publication in Prism in September 1995, entitled SOFTENING ENROLLMENTS, clearly note the decline of clientele in the engineering programs in the United-States: “Survey results revealed that fill-time undergraduate enrollment in engineering dropped almost 3 percent from 337,817 students in fall 1993 to 328,463 students in fall 1994. This decline (1 percent steeper than that of previous year) occurred more or less evenly across all undergraduate levels of enrollment, with the number of first-year students dropping the most - approximately 4 percent to 85,047 students. (...) Full-time graduate enrollment in engineering declined for the first time in more than 10 years. It dropped over 5 percent to 74,596 students, reflecting a reduction in the number of foreign nationals (residents of other countries) enrolled.”(1).

In Quebec, we have noticed the same pattern in all the cycles of studies. And at Ecole Polytechnique the same situation prevails. If we look at some recent figures, it clearly shows the clientele of fill-time undergraduate enrollment in engineering dropped almost 12% from 3704,60 students in fall 1992 to 3262,73 students in fall 1994.

$&&’-’ 1996 ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings F ‘@llHllL.: .

Bourgeois, M., & Drouin, G. (1996, June), Innovative Measures To Improve Performances And Supervision In Post Graduate Studies Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia.

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