Conclusions of Workshop - Platform Engineering Education, Prague 11.11.2014
The workshop was attended by rectors, rectors emeriti, vice-rectors of leading Czech technical universities, representatives of the Ministry od Education, Youth and Sports and industry represented by the Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic.
In agreement with the conclusions of the last meeting of the Core group of the Platform Engineering Education main attention was paid to the orientation and status of engineering education in the nearest 10 years and how to support the interest of the young generation of boys and girls in engineering education.
It was stated that:
- The society necessarily needs a sufficient number of good engineers and not only a certain number of graduates.
- Per capita financing of universities should not contitnue. The state recources for engineering education should by no means be reduced, on the contrary they should be increased, however independently of the number of students. This will enable to increase the quality of graduates at the expense of their quantity.
- Funding of technical fields of study must be controlled in compliance with requirements of the labour market. Prediction of the number of personnel and careful selection of fields where they can work must be considered. And accordingly study curricula should be modified and/or newly introduced.
- Expansion of the number of required graduates has to be assumed.
- Presentation of “Soft skills“ must be extended and fields of study at faculties of education modified and modernized.
- Direct contacts between universities and industry are absolutely necessary. Special contact personnel and contractual relations of the type student-school-firm must be established at universities. Also tax deductions should be considered. In this respect the Platform Engineering Education could be employed.
Encouraging interest of the young generation in engineering education is a topical issue for the future. Such an encouragement must start at an early age in kindergardens and must take into consideration that mothers have a decisive influence on the selection and orientation of study of their children. Means and ways how to support their role must be considered. Futher, ways must be found how to communicate both with the whole society and the young generation and that on all levels.
In this respect it is necessary to:
- Utilize and strongly support all existing actitivities of technical universities focused on education of small children such as technically oriented kindergardens, “children universities“and honouring the results of their work by eg. graduation ceremonies, diplomas, medals etc.
- Support technical orientation of primary schools and utilize free-time activities of the pupils at schools (interest groups, etc.). Provincial authorities should respond to the requirements of the labour market in the assessment of capacities of schools (personnel and funding).
Further it is necessary to:
- Establish a regular dialogue between the state administration, industry and technical schools on all levels and above all with universities.
- Support university projects oriented towards education of small children even in periods when funding from the EU is not available.
- Establish an efficient dialogue between academicians and industry, organize regular discussions between industrial managers and the academic sphere, e.g. to create a project “Communication – Dialogue“ with Centres of Competence
8 Dec 2014