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From 7-11 November, 2011, at Czech Technical University in Prague, International Scientific and Practical Seminar-Training "Best Practices of Engineering Training with Industry Assistance at European Universities" took place.



Seminar objective was generalization of international experience and case studies of best educational programmes and technology of training of specialists in engineering and technology with industry assistance.

More than 40 people participated in the Seminar: rectors, vice-rectors, deans, heads of departments of higher educational institutions and representatives of industrial enterprises from Russia, as well as leading experts in the field of engineering education from Austria, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Czech Republic, Belgium and France.

The Seminar participants were welcomed by:

  • Prof. Ing. Václav Havlíček, Rector of Czech Technical University in Prague
  • Prof. Ladislav Musilek, Professor of Czech Technical University in Prague, Member of the Administrative Council of the European Society for Engineering Education (SEFI)
  • Prof. Frantisek Hrdlicka, Dean of Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Czech Technical University in Prague
  • Prof. Yu. Pokholkov, President of the Association for Engineering Education of Russia

The Seminar was organized in keynote speeches and panel discussions.

The keynote speeches “Quality requirements for engineering programmes in Europe” were made by:

  • Prof. Ladislav Musilek, Member of the SEFI Administrative Council, on SEFI vision on engineering education and training of modern professionals in engineering and technology; the activities of SEFI, which main purpose is to develop and improve engineering education, were presented, including cooperation with industry, as well as the perspectives in this area;
  • Prof. Ing. Vladimir Marik, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Czech Technical University in Prague, who in his report “Research & Education at Department of Cybernetics. EU Centre of Excellence” presented models used in cooperation with industry in education and research, in particular with defense industry.
  • Kristina Edström, Royal Institute of Technology KTH (Sweden), devoted her report “Development of engineering education - how can we achieve the vision” to the application of the Worldwide CDIO Initiative in development and implementation of educational programmes with the purpose of engineering education development, emphasizing that this development requires understanding of current situation in educational system and vision of what and how we strive to achieve.

The presentations of panel discussion “Quality requirements for training in the field of engineering and technology” were:

  • «Industry as an Active Partner in Engineers’ Training” by Prof. Alexander Sigov, Rector of MIREA (Russia) that covered the innovative training system of MIREA. The basis of this system is an integrated innovative complex "university - base department - base enterprise" in which 54 base departments are located directly at MIREA partner enterprises and in most cases are headed by enterprise leaders, and trainers are leading experts involved in development and implementation of new technologies in production at these enterprises. There were also presented some projects created through the system of training and confirming its effectiveness.
  • “RCMT (Research Center of Manufacturing Technology) Overview and R&D Collaboration with Industry” by Ing. Jan Smolík, CTU Prague, Head of Department of Production Machines and Equipment, who talked about the activities of Research Center as a specific example of cooperation of university and enterprises of machine tool industry in order to improve the competitiveness of the enterprises and to involve university undergraduate and postgraduate students in practical activities.

At the end of this section, seminar participants visited Skoda Car Factory where they met with representatives of the company management responsible for Russian market development, who made presentations about history, current activities and plans of the company, and also introduced the corporate university of the company, in which Russian students study as well, and these were followed by a tour of the company history museum and operating shops of the factory.

Keynote speeches “International cooperation in engineering education and training” and panel discussion “International cooperation: sharing experience in joint development and implementation of engineering programmes, academic mobility” provided great opportunities to discuss and exchange views on the reports made by:

  • Prof. Hans Kaiser, Professor of TU Wien (Austria), on international cooperation development by example of Vienna University of Technology.
  • Prof. Petr Chubik, Rector of Tomsk Polytechnic University (Russia), on the experience of development and implementation of joint educational programmes with European universities.
  • Prof. Jose Carlos Quadrado, President of ISEL - Lisbon Superior Engineering Institute (Portugal), the IFEES President, who focused on such issues as: Why talk about universities with industry assistance? Why so many Engineering Training projects fail? What is international cooperation?, with specific, striking examples which evoked a great response from the seminar participants.
  • Prof. Juan Jesus Perez, Professor of Polytechnic University of Catalonia UPC (Spain), on issues of internationalization and globalization in education.
  • Ivan Koshovkin, Director General TomskNIPIneft JSK (Russia), which was of special interest to the participants given the fact that the reporter has experience both in academia and industry. The presentation demonstrated the practice of effective cooperation of these spheres by example of Petroleum Learning Center, a joint project of Tomsk Polytechnic University (Russia) and Heriot-Watt University (UK), with enterprises of oil and gas industry being actively involved into its activities.

Rene-Francois Bernard, coordinator of European Network for Quality of Higher Engineering Education for Industry ENQHEEI (Belgium), gave one of the keynote speeches “Role of industry in development and implementation of educational programmes” and spoke about the working project QUESTE-SI in the field of engineering education quality assurance, in which the Association for Engineering Education of Russia also participates. From the report the participants learned about goals and objectives of this project, interim results and prospects of development. Another expert report was presented by Prof. Stephane Flament, Head of Department of Electronics and Applied Physics, National Graduate School of Engineering in Caen - ENSICAEN (France). In his speech he told the participants about the features of higher engineering education in France and great experiences of ENSICAEN in involvement of industry in the process of development and implementation of educational programmes.

In addition to the reports stated in the seminar programme, because of urgency and importance of the issues discussed, some participants expressed their desire to present experience of their educational institutions in this area: Vasily Moiseev, Rector of Penza State Technological Academy; Nataliya Shumskaya, Vice Rector of Don State Technical University; Vladimir Kolmakov, First Vice Rector of Siberian Federal University.

Also within the frameworks of the Seminar, Yury Pokholkov, President of the Association for Engineering Education of Russia, conducted the training “Ways to Develop Competencies of Modern Engineers”, in which the participants worked individually and in teams on searching for possible solutions to such problems as:

  • Evaluation of level of training of engineers in Russia
  • Characteristics and criteria of evaluation of level of training of engineers
  • Inadequacy of content and forms of training of engineers
  • Ways to develop competences of future engineers
  • What needs to be changed in organisation and technology of training of engineers

One of the team consisted of European experts participating in the Seminar that made it possible to get different view on the system of engineering education. Vigorous debate showed great interest to the issues under discussion. As a result, the seminar participants indicated as priority ways to develop competencies of modern engineers application of competence-based approach to development of educational programmes, attraction of the potential of industrial enterprises and scientific institutions, as well as use of problem-based and project-organised learning.

The Seminar was concluded by the ceremonial presentation of international certificates to the seminar participants and the guided tour in the historic center of Prague.

Address of Yuri P. Pokholkov