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Sunday, April 13, 2014

History of Higher Education in Engineering

History of Higher Education in Engineering
Submitted by Kukatlapalli Pradeep Kumar – Research Scholar              Christ University April 2014

The Roots of Engineering Education

Engineering education is the process of imparting knowledge and values in connection with the professional practice of engineering. The roots of engineering education was found in a movement which emphasized on engineering science and quality in engineering education. This movement took place at the end of World War II. Later on, the practical exposure in engineering undergraduate programs was not perceived due to lack of focus on the same. To resolve the issues in the engineering education, early 1980’s researcher bodies and different organizations piloted many studies. They agreed upon the common results achieved, to deliver strong base theory knowledge in all engineering institutions. They also concluded upon the exposure towards the societal context and the interdisciplinary research for engineering education as one among the initiatives of
the studies.

Indian Perspective with respect to Quality

The official approval and accreditation process for technical education in the country on quality assurance started in the year 1985 with ISTE (Indian Society for Technical Education). As per the AICTE (All India council for Technical Education) India, technical education not only mean Engineering, but also Management, Architecture, Pharmacy, Computer Applications, Hotel Management and Catering Technology, and Applied Arts and Crafts. The professional society ISTE is a program unit of MHRD (Ministry of Human Resource and Development) India. In the year 1994 the NBA (National Board of Accreditation) was established by the All India council for Technical Education. NBA as an association conducted many awareness programs, training programs, workshops on the quality of engineering education. It also focused on evaluation process and methodologies to be followed by the technical universities. However, the IISc also contributed towards the accreditation system, in which it was named as “Manyatha”. This could not attract the professors in the technical education in spite of its distinct features, and it also did not make further proceedings and updates on the same [1]. It is because of the NBA and NAAC accreditation initiatives, technical institutions could able to improve on the quality aspects with respect to the curriculum, industry institution interaction, Research and Development etc.,

Product Based Model Education

As the trend in technology is more towards product based models, there is need felt for transformations in engineering education. The engineering activities followed in the industry differs from the class room teaching in many ways. The product modelling and simulation environments have to be installed and updated on regular basis. The main challenge lies behind contributing to the already existing work with slight or major modifications. There is a need for formulating new courses in the institutions for the product based model architectures. The virtual system laboratories also have to be established and the laboratory hours have to be scheduled. Knowledge representations and application tools are to be connected with the engineering systems. With the newer results in research, the quantitative and qualitative approaches can be applied in engineering domain as well. The quantitative methods are relevant where a hypothesis or a theory justifies the direction of the research. The qualitative methods are more towards personal interviews, conclusions drawn from observations, data collection and analysis of the field work/surveys. For the product development systems a best method can be applied with respect to the area of engineering[2]. The National System of Innovation (NSI) aimed at higher education in collaborating government sector, Industry and fourth pillar organizations. The Fourth pillar organizations are innovation-enabling and multiplier organizations such as incubators,innovation support centers, technology transfer centers, andtechnology demonstrators. The helix model and the triple helix paradigm also can impact the higher education system [3].

Interdisciplinary Approach and UTAUT

The interdisciplinary approach with respect to natural sciences, social sciences can optimize the higher education structure in the education systems engineering to address various research problems [4].Usage of audio visual means will have a positive impact on the university education. These resources also help in improving the efficiency of teaching among the faculty fraternity.Service learning contributed to the transformation in engineering education, focusing on the self-learning, and development of professional and interpersonal skills.
Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) is a research theory which is intended to illustrate about the adoption and rejection of technology by the users. This model aims at verification of UTAUT adequacy on the information technologies in pedagogical process of Engineering Higher Education [5].

Information Technology and Engineering Education

Usage of computers and information technology leads to positive results in the engineering higher education. It not only develops education in engineering, but also the product development environments in and around the universities with high performance methods, tools and systems. The artifact developments depends on the sophisticated infrastructure with simulated environments. So the product development and the education in engineering can act as the real integration of academic systems with the field practice [6]. The teaching, projects and problem solving aspects has to be merged in the engineering education for effective exposure on to the student community. The course models and product models can be integrated to form a new and unique approach in engineering higher education.

Conclusion: Current Scenario of Engineering Education India

As far as engineering education in India is concerned, a recent study says that there is 10.4 percent increase in the number of engineering graduates on yearly basis. This number is more than that of China, South Korea, the UK, and USA.A study said that about 30 percent of the fresh engineering graduates are unemployed because of lack of quality in education pursued. This leaves a question on quality of graduates coming out from universities and colleges. These consequences results unemployment or underemployment in the nation. The engineering institutions in India are good at undergraduate programs, however lack in progressing towards the post-graduate and research oriented programs. One of the reasons is, undergraduate students not opting for M.Tech and other technical related PG programs.


1. Prof. R. Natarajan former chairman AICTE, former director, IIT madras; “The origins and history of accreditation of technical education programs in India”, IEEE conference proceedings.       
2. JózsefGáti and GyulaKártyásÓbuda University, Budapest, Hungary; “New Challenges in Engineering Higher Education”IEEE conference proceedings.
3. Andre’ Hattingh, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa; “Higher Engineering Education in the 21st century” June 2003 IEEE conference proceedings.
4. Sun Shaorong, ZongLiyong University of Shanghai for Science and Technology. Shanghai, China; “Systems Engineering Methods in the Study of Higher education Structure Optimization” 2009.
5. Bertil P. Marques, Dep. Eng. Informática – ISEP, GILT- Graphics, Interaction and Learning Technologies Porto – PORTUGAL; “Applying the UTAUT model in Engineering Higher Education: Teacher's Technology Adoption”.
6. JózsefGáti and GyulaKártyás, Óbuda University Budapest, Hungary; “Computer System Support for Higher Education Programs in Engineering”, IEEE conference proceedings.

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