Document Type

Book Chapter

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This item is available under a Creative Commons License for non-commercial use only

Publication Details

Engineering in Context, Academica 2009

Abstract

Systems for the education of engineers in the US and the EU differ in significant ways. In this chapter we describe and reflect upon differences in accreditation policies and procedures, curriculum structure and content, admissions criteria and student mobility. Within the US there is a surprising uniformity among both private and public university programmes in engineering education, due in large part to the acceptance of ABET’s (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) authority in setting standards for curriculum content. Within the EU there is greater programme variety, although some degree of harmonization is in the works due to the Bologna Declaration. We describe and analyze current efforts in Europe aimed at establishing a pan-EU authority for accreditation - the EUR- ACE Framework. One topic in curriculum structure draws our attention - the perceived value of liberal studies in engineering and the potential for significant reform of the engineering curriculum in this regard. Criteria for admission to university study in engineering differ among the different members of the EU. In the US, criteria are more or less the same whether the student applies to MIT or the University of Michigan. Understanding these differences is essential if transatlantic cooperation in higher (and vocational) education is to be achieved as is the intent of a new EU-US programme - The Atlantis Programme (2006-20013).

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