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Quality Assessment In Engineering Education … Indicators Of Progress

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.470.1 - 3.470.13

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Paper Authors

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Roman Z. Morawski

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Jerzy Woznicki

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Andrzej Krasniewski

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

Session 2260

Quality Assessment in Engineering Education – Indicators of Progress

Andrzej Krasniewski, Roman Z. Morawski, Jerzy Woznicki Faculty of Electronics and Information Technology Warsaw University of Technology

1. INTRODUCTION Fast political, social and economic changes have significantly affected the functioning of academic institutions in Central and Eastern Europe. The most essential factors that determine a new environment in which academic institutions operate are substantial budget cuts and unattractive career prospects for university employees. For example, in Poland as a result of severe economic recession financial support (per candidate admitted to university studies), received by higher education institutions from the Ministry of National Education, decreased in the period of 1990-1997 on average by more than 60%. On the other hand, academic staff, especially talented young people, are attracted by significantly higher salaries offered by private or even state-owned industrial or business enterprises. Although most academic institutions suffer from fiscal crisis, the situation of many engineering schools is particularly difficult. The main reasons are: • higher costs of running engineering courses, compared to arts and science courses, which is mainly because of high costs of modern equipment used in laboratories, especially for high- technology areas, like microelectronics, bioengineering, computer networks, where 10- or even 5-year old equipment may be of little use not only for research work, but even for education purposes; • poor financial status of industrial companies, resulting not only in a diminishing number of research projects supported by industry and little demand for staff training programs offered by the universities, but also affecting decisions of candidates to university studies who tend to prefer studies in arts or business over engineering programs. Only institutions that could quickly adjust to the new environment by restructuring their educational programs and management schemes have a chance to successfully face the budget cuts and still offer high-quality education. In other words, making adaptive changes in engineering education is a key to ensure quality. This is in accordance with the first objective with regard to quality that should be sought by an institution, stated by the ISO 9000 standard in the following way7: "The organization should achieve and sustain the quality of the product or service produced, so as to meet continually the purchaser's (customer's) stated or implied needs". This means that an ability to meet the quality requirements in the future (under perhaps more difficult external conditions) is of equal importance as the current level of quality.

Morawski, R. Z., & Woznicki, J., & Krasniewski, A. (1998, June), Quality Assessment In Engineering Education … Indicators Of Progress Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington.

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