June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
22.1129.1 - 22.1129.19
Preferred session categories for paper:International Collaborations, Experiences, Partnerships, Service LearningInternational Exchange/Joint Programs in engineering educationTeaching entrepreneurship to engineering students in developing countries(for the last one, I would prefer a more inclusive title like “in developing and catching-upcountries,” since Portugal is technically not a developing country) Orienting engineering education towards innovation, entrepreneurism and industry partnerships: The case of the MIT-Portugal CollaborationEngineering education has always served as a close nexus between academia and industry, andas a strong determinant of a country’s innovative and economic performance. As manydeveloped regions and countries are struggling with the loss of low-cost manufacturing to globalcompetitors, governments naturally turn to their institutions of engineering education to move upthe value chain and towards an innovation and knowledge based economy.This paper discusses how engineering education in Portugal has been radically transformed overthe past four years with the help of a strong international collaboration. As part of a largerprocess of educational reform, the MIT-Portugal Program (MPP) has gathered the country’sleading institutions in an unprecedented education and research consortium centered around theengineering systems paradigm. MPP has employed a wide range of policy tools to orientengineering education towards innovation, entrepreneurship, and industry cooperation,including: the creation of 7 new education tracks in compliance with the Bologna 3rd cycle requirements (4 research-heavy PhD degrees and 3 professional Advanced Study masters degrees) that feature innovative curriculum design with a focus on innovation management and leadership courses, a modularized term structure, lab rotation periods, and long-distance video lecturing the recruitment of a highly specific student body with strong industry propensity and experience a focus on internationalization, raising the percentage of international students to almost 40%, more than four times higher than comparable Portuguese graduate programs extensive networking between groups and institutions and a high degree of student and researcher mobility, allowing students to benefit from the country’s best educators and research labs, intensifying communication and collaboration, enlarging individual scientific networks, and creating critical mass in research power. access to an associated network of 50+ industry affiliates, involving industry extensively in student theses and lecturing.Being now in its final year of the first 5-year phase, the program has yielded important andvisible educational successes, as documented by a number of comparative surveys carriedbetween MPP and its Portuguese peer programs to be discussed in this paper. MPP is thus wellon its way of becoming the first truly international Portuguese program both in terms ofcompetitiveness and attractiveness, and could serve as a model strategy addressing keychallenges at the intersection of engineering education, research, and innovation. Finally, as alargely innovative and experimental program, the MPP trajectory holds important lessonsregarding program administration and national reform capacity that could potentially be of valuefor other countries that are trying to prepare their traditional engineering education with a greaterdegree of industry orientation, an innovation-prone ecosystem, and a culture of entrepreneurism.
Pfotenhauer, S. M., & Jacobs, J., & Pertuze, J. A., & Roos, D. T., & Newman, D. J. (2011, June), Orienting engineering education towards innovation, entrepreneurism and industry partnerships: The case of the MIT Portugal Program Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18757
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