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CAETS Council Activities

Engineering Education
At its April 2, 1987 meeting, the Governing Board approved the proposal of the Fellowship of Engineering for a workshop to address the topic. Three workshops were organized and hosted for CAETS in London by the Fellowship.

In its summary report to the Governing Board on May 23, 1992, The Fellowship noted several factors for the international interest in engineering education:

  • impact of information technology
  • blurring of dividing lines between traditional disciplines
  • recognition by industrialized countries of the need to educate a greater proportion of the workforce to a professional level
  • the increase in knowledge to be assimilated
  • the perceived need to include business skills, language, law and other topics in the undergraduate course
  • the shortages of engineers overall at the professional level (although recognizing variations between disciplines and levels of work)

The first workshop, hosted by The Fellowship for CAETS, was held in London on November 18, 1987. Representatives of the Members present exchanged information on the following topics:

  • matching educational provision to meet future national needs
  • the multi-disciplinary systems approach to engineering
  • the structure of undergraduate engineering
  • the structure of postgraduate education
  • interaction between academic/industrial sectors
  • continuing education and training

The Proceedings of The International Meeting on Engineering Education for the 21st Century, published by The Fellowship, identified three issues that warranted further consideration:

  • how to recruit sufficient engineer of high caliber
  • how to maintain the quality of teaching despite an increasing knowledge base, and
  • how to increase the recognition and support (including industrial) for continuing education.

The second meeting of the workshop was held on October 24, 1989 in London. The members continued their discussions from the first meeting and heard presentations on several topics, including:

  • education and training of chartered engineers
  • strategies for teaching and learning in the field of engineering
  • use of information technology in engineering education
  • creativity in engineering design
  • core curriculum and future engineering qualifications
  • an NAE/US study, Focus on the Future
  • principles for industrial links with and for education
  • quality in engineering education, and
  • engineering under private finance.

A third session was agreed to for the purpose of preparing a summary of the conclusions of the workshop in a report to the Governing Board. Held in London on September 11, 1991, the members focused on quality in education, the curriculum as regards educational aims and what should be taught, encouraging recruitment with attention to reducing course overload and making them more problem-based, and continuing education and training. A Report of Third Workshop on Engineering Education was published by The Fellowship.

On June 4-6, 1991 in Budapest, Hungary, the US/NAE organized and hosted, with the assistance of the Hungarian Academy of Engineering, the CAETS conference on Harnessing Engineering and Technology for Economic Growth: Opening the Dialogue Between the Engineering Communities of the East and West. In addition to representatives of the CAETS Members, engineers from Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Romania, Yugoslavia, Hungary, and the USSR participated in the conference whose objectives were to:

  • exchange information on issues affecting the use of engineering technology for economic progress in Eastern Europe
  • discuss policies necessary to foster the harnessing of engineering and technology to advance
  • national economic growth, consistent with the differing traditions and social systems in each country
  • discuss development of an infrastructure, including technical education, and of international
  • agreements such as those for intellectual property
  • discuss the importance of independent, non-governmental engineering institutions for advising governments.

Two CAETS reports were published following the conference, the findings and conclusions in a document with the conference title, and a directory, Technical Resource Information for Central and Eastern Europe, which identified some of the key programs, organizations and resources that facilitate exchange of engineering information and personnel between CAETS members' countries and the Central and Eastern European countries. Both publications were given wide international distribution under signature of the President.

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