December 2005

Copyright © 2005 World Expertise LLC – All rights reserved

A periodic electronic newsletter for engineering education leaders,

edited by Russel C. Jones, Ph.D., P.E., and Bethany S. Oberst, Ph.D.



1 - International developments

2 - US developments

3 - Distance education, technology

4 - Students, faculty, education

5 – Employment

6 – Journals

7 – Meeting


1 - International developments

US won’t join in binding climate talks – Despite the Bush administration’s adamant resistance, nearly every industrialized nation has agreed to engage in talks aimed at producing a new set of binding limits on greenhouse gas emissions that would take effect in 2012. As reported in the December 11th Washington Post by Juliet Eilperin, recent  discussions in Montreal underscored the promise and limits of international talks aimed at confronting one of the world’s most far-reaching problems. Foreign negotiators have concluded that they must press ahead without the Bush administration’s assent on the assumption that a burgeoning grass-roots movement will eventually bring the US back to the negotiating table. In a separate accord, a broader coalition of nearly 200 nations – including the US – agreed to much more modest “open and nonbinding” dialogue that would not lead to any new commitments to reduce carbon dioxide emissions associated with climate change. (See

OECD and UNESCO team up on quality assurance for cross-border education – The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) have broken new ground by issuing voluntary guidelines for cross-border higher education, designed to promote quality assurance efforts.  Since 1998 the number of people studying outside of their home country has expanded by 50%, to 2.3 million students.  This represents over $40 billion in export income, writes Aisha Labi in The Chronicle of Higher Education. Indeed, Peter Smith, the former president of the California State University-Monterey Bay, who is now assistant director general for education at UNESCO, says that higher education must accept that regulations controlling it are trade issues because education is increasingly seen as a very valuable service that people will pay to obtain.  The guidelines proposed by the two organizations call for countries to take steps to assure that programs offered outside of their borders are of the same quality as those offered at home, and that academic freedom, transparency, collegial governance and good working conditions are assured internationally.  (See

‘Digital dumps’ heap hazards at foreign sites – Each month, hundreds of thousands of used computers, televisions and other electronic components – about 500 container loads – arrive in Nigeria. According to an article in the December 12th Washington Post by Elizabeth Grossman, some of these items were donated by people who thought they were helping satisfy the rapidly growing appetite for modern technology in a developing country where few can afford it. And some of them came from individuals or organizations that simply wanted to get rid of their obsolete equipment at the lowest cost. Either way, at least half of the used equipment ends up in landfills, adding to the considerable hazardous waste problems of a country that lacks facilities to properly handle it. The United Nations Environment Program estimates that 20 to 50 million tons of electronics are discarded each year. Less that 10% of the discards get recycled, and half or more end up exported to less developed countries for inexpensive, and often unsafe and environmentally unsound, recycling. (See

Campus conditions place high stress on Chinese students – University students in China are feeling the shock of transition to independence as they take up life on campuses that are far different from their lives at home.  Primitive living conditions, restricted activities, and enforced political indoctrination are creating pressures that many pampered only children, born during government imposed birth control laws, are ill prepared to face, writes Paul Mooney in The Chronicle of Higher Education. As a result, universities are faced with mounting numbers of student suicides and psychological problems.  Student residences are walled and gated, and student have been punished severely for sexual activity, even as simple as kissing.  Some families persist in providing their children with every service, thus not allowing them to gain independence through their taking increased responsibility for their own lives.  Tension is evident between the approach of the Ministry of Education, which is taking some small steps to loosen the regulations, and the Communist Party of China, which is still advocating enforcement and compliance.  (See

Canadian funding to retain top academic talent - To discourage raids of top academic talent by other universities, the Canada Foundation for Innovation has revised its rules to allow previous recipients to apply for grants, along with newly hired professors. According to an article by Wayne Kondro in the November 25th Science, the change is intended to give institutions a better chance of retaining their prized researchers, and to discourage campus-hopping. The CFI is an independent entity created by the government in 1997 to improve Canada ’s research infrastructure. (See

  A digital library for the new world – The US Library of Congress, under the leadership of Librarian James H. Billington, has launched a campaign to create the World Digital Library.  According to an article in the November 22nd Washington Post by David Vise, the new venture will be an online collection of rare books, manuscripts, maps, posters, stamps and other materials from its holdings and those of other national libraries that would be freely accessible for viewing by anyone, anywhere with Internet access. According to Billington, the goal is to bring together precious items of artistic, historical and literary significance for ready access via the Internet, so that people can learn about other cultures. The Library has received a $3-million grant from Google Inc. as its first corporate contribution to the project. (See

India to use engineering model for emphasis on pure sciences – The success of the Indian Institutes of Technology, which are now known as offering some of the highest quality and most rigorous engineering programs in the world, has led the Indian government to approve two similar institutions, the Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research, to focus on the pure sciences.  With enrollments in the sciences having fallen sharply since the 1950s, while the need for graduates has increased, the government will create one new school in Calcutta and the other in Pune, each enrolling about 2,055 students.  The institutes will include both undergraduate and graduate education in areas such as the physical sciences, mathematics, materials sciences, life science and computer science, reports Shailaja Neelakantan in The Chronicle of Higher Education. (See

Saudi prince gives major funds to universities – A prominent Saudi businessman is donating $20-million each to Harvard and Georgetown Universities for the study of Islam and the Muslim world, as part of his philanthropic effort to promote interfaith understanding. According to an article in the December 13th Washington Post by Caryle Murphy, he also has donated $15-million to establish the Middle East’s first two centers for American studies, at universities in Beirut and Cairo. The Prince, a member of the Saudi royal family, said that the gifts to Harvard and Georgetown will be used to “teach about the Islamic world to the US ”, and the new programs at American University in Beirut and American University in Cairo will “teach the Arab world about the American situation”. (See  

Cambridge claims rights to researchers' inventions – The University of Cambridge (UK) recently left its copyright policy intact, but substantially altered its patent policies, much to the frustration of some researchers.  Inventions stemming from university sponsored research now belong to the university, rather than to the inventor, if patent is sought.  Cambridge officials claim that this is a clarification of current practice, not a change in policy.  They also say that this move permits the university to look into all cases of patents to be assured that all parties are considered. Supporters say that despite the concern, the wording of the new policy makes it clear that the researcher remains in ultimate control, reports Aisha Labi in The Chronicle of Higher Education.  In the US inventors traditionally own their inventions, although universities most often share the monetary returns from commercialization.  (See

Indian talent search prize – Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft, has announced a contest to identify promising software students in India , offering as top prize an internship with his technical team for a year. According to an article by Saritha Rai in the December 10th New York Times, this contest highlights Microsoft’s interest in India , where it will invest $1.7-billion over the next four years. This contest comes amid another in India : the race between low-cost open-source software and propriety software like Microsoft’s. (See

The perfect storm: Toefl online – Efforts by the Educational Testing Service to administer the Toefl – Test of English as a Foreign Language – entirely online have generated a storm of complaints, particularly in Europe .  While the online version was intended to increase access, in its first iteration potential test takers found their attempts to sign up for the test stymied. The paper version formerly was administered in dedicated sites, while the online version can be given at any institution’s computer lab.  But in France , Italy and Germany , sites were unavailable, and the situation became so acute that paper tests were offered in four French cities to reduce the backlog.  At stake is the ability of students to apply to study in the US , writes Aisha Labi in The Chronicle of Higher Education. (See

ERC moves forward despite budget impasse – The long awaited European Research Council now has three veteran science chiefs to guide it through its birth, according to an article by Gretchen Vogel in the December 9th Science. Designed to fund basic science across Europe , the ERC is supposed to award its first grants in 2007. However, high-level disagreements over the E.U. budget have kept scientists guessing about its proposed €1.5-billion yearly budget. With top leaders elected recently in a meeting of the ERC scientific council, the scientific community feels better equipped to fend off political efforts to decrease its planned funds and attempts to divert ERC funds to particular fields or countries. (See

Cheat sheet The International Journal for Educational Integrity came about because of concerns raised in Australia over plagiarism.  The new journal will be published two times a year and will be available for free online.  According to David Cohen, reporter for The Chronicle of Higher Education, the journal will cover the full range of academic dishonesty. (See

Tehran University ’s new president is an ayatollah Iran ’s president, elected last June, moved quickly to name a senior Islamic cleric, who is also an associate professor of Islamic law, to be president of Tehran University .  Abbasali Amid Zanjani’s appointment was protested by students.  Critics say, according to Burton Bollag reporting in the Chronicle of Higher Education, that he is not an experienced administrator, and thus might be easily influenced by outside forces.  (See

U. of Melbourne adopts UC Berkeley as a model – The University of Melbourne ( Australia ) has received government approval for a plan to imitate the University of California at Berkeley by cutting undergraduate programs, increasing its emphasis on graduate education and research, and expanding the number of students who pay full fees for their education.  Glyn Davis, president of the University of Melbourne , was himself a student at Berkeley , and sees this path as a way for Australian universities to begin to compete academically with the better endowed US institutions.  Some people are not sure that Berkeley is exportable, writes David Cohen in The Chronicle of Higher Education.  Laura D. Tyson, head of the London Business School and previously at Berkeley, thinks that the California model is not one that is readily replicable, even by other US institutions,  (See


2 - US developments

Summit to strengthen science – In an unusual show of unity, 50 business, academic, and legislative leaders met recently in Washington to proclaim what they believe is obvious: the US should be paying more attention to science and engineering. But, according to a report from Jeffrey Mervis in the December 16th Science, although there was a rousing consensus on the need to improve teaching, graduate more science majors, and boost spending on research and translating the results to the workplace, there was mostly silence on how these changes might come about and who would pay for them. The one-day meeting hosted by the Department of Commerce was billed as the National Summit on Competitiveness. After a morning roundtable, the invitees attended closed sessions led by Cabinet secretaries and senior Bush Administration officials who, by several accounts, extolled the President’s accomplishments on energy technology, trade, education, and research. In return the participants maintained a relentlessly strong tone about how the US should respond to heavy investments by other countries in their scientific workforces and high-tech industries. The group’s series of recommendations, announced before the meeting began, include more federal spending on basic research and set-asides for high-risk research, a doubling over the next 10 years of the number of undergraduates earning science and engineering degrees, changes in immigration laws to make it easier for foreign-born graduates to remain in the US, and greater support for advanced manufacturing technologies. (See

 Pessimists and optimists have their say about research in 2015 The Chronicle of Higher Education published a series of articles giving the optimistic and pessimistic views of the future of higher education in 2015.  The optimists, in the article entitled “Research Inc.,” saw ever closer alliances between industry and universities, and impressive advances in medicine, engineering and sciences which would benefit the world.  Faculty were increasingly attracted to entrepreneurial universities, and alliances with industry resulted in higher education having more clout in Washington .  The pessimists, looking at research in 2015, saw a crisis caused by the public’s confusion about how to distinguish industry from universities, and by universities capitulating to corporate interests to the extent that entire academic departments are turned over to corporate control.  The bottom line is that universities are threatened with losing their nonprofit status, concluded Lila Guterman, writing for The Chronicle of Higher Education.  (See

Survey finds support for doubling research budgets – A recent national survey conducted by Public Opinion Strategies has found overwhelming support for increasing federal funding by 10% a year for the next seven years for all science and engineering. As reported in the November-December ASTRA Briefs, the survey findings include: voters increasingly think America ’s ability to compete economically in the world has gotten worse since 1991; there is overwhelming support for federal funding of scientific research at universities; and voters understand that increasing funding for university science and engineering research will help America ’s ability to compete internationally. (See

Defaulters on US student loans can see Social Security cut – The US Supreme Court recently ruled that the government could deduct money from Social Security checks in order to enforce repayment of old student loan debts.  The justices acted unanimously, reports Stephen Burd in The Chronicle of Higher Education.  (See

Congress agrees to boost NSF funding Both sides of Congress have agreed to elevate funding for the National Science Foundation in fiscal 2006 by more than 3 percent. The appropriations bill working its way through Congress grants the NSF $5.7-billion, some $180-million more than last year, according to an article by Aliya Sternstein in the November 7th Federal Computer Week.  Research and related activities would get $4.4-billion, which is 4% more than fiscal 2005 and 1.2% more than the President’s request. (See

Second meeting on higher ed commission sees strong positions taken – The US Secretary of Education’s Commission on the Future of Higher Education held its second meeting, and suggested linking an institution’s eligibility to receive federal student aid with its willingness to test all of its students using a standardized format.  Speakers at the session also expressed support for creating a data system that some critics say would make individually identifiable information such as Social Security numbers available and thus potentially subject to misuse.  Advocates for on-line learning clashed with other higher education officials about the reliability of data showing the large numbers of students engaged in on-line learning.  Kelly Field wrote this report for The Chronicle of Higher Education.  (See  In additional coverage of this meeting, Doug Lederman from Inside Higher Ed reported on Senator Lamar Alexander’s speech before the group, in which he listed six priorities for higher education.  One of those priorities – advice to the higher ed community to attend to the issue of political one-sidedness – drew strong reaction from some members of the commission.  Alexander also recommended that the group endorse the National Academy of Sciences' study calling for increased spending in science and technology, and that they attend to the problem of colleges of education which often are in fact obstacles to education reform.  (See

Congress funds project to entice college grads to government service – Worried that too many young Americans are turned off by the idea of working in government, Congress has provided $600,000 for a research project to develop strategies to raise interest among college students in federal service. According to an article by Stephen Barr in the December 9th Washington Post, the initiative will be run by the Office of Personnel Management and the Partnership for Public Service. The project will use surveys and other research efforts to test and evaluate various methods of reaching out to college students to understand what messages or outreach activities might sway top-notch graduates to consider a federal job. (See

Tulane's engineering programs fall victim to Katrina – Four of Tulane University ’s six engineering programs have been abolished in the wake of massive destruction caused by hurricane Katrina. The university administration invoked a state of financial exigency in cutting 230 faculty, including 65 tenured scholars.  Engineering students in the four affected departments – civil and environmental, mechanical, electrical and computer science and computer engineering – who can complete their degree programs by June 2007, will be welcome to stay.  The 230 faculty will have the option of staying until that date at the same salary. Biomedical and chemical engineering programs will be transferred into a newly created School of Science and Engineering, writes David Epstein in Inside Higher Ed.  (See

It’s time to rebuild America – Writing in an op-ed article in the December 13th Washington Post, Felix Rohatyn and Warren Rudman propose a plan for spending more – and wisely – on the decaying infrastructure in the US. The writers note that private investment has led the US economic growth for two centuries, but it could not have done so without a series of complimentary public investments in canals, railroads, roads, the airspace system, water projects, public transportation, schools and the like, which improve business productivity and generate significant increases in private-sector employment. But these investments have been badly neglected in recent years, as politically motivated tax cuts, unbounded entitlements and open ended commitments to homeland defense have exhausted the federal budget. A survey by the American Society of Civil Engineers indicates a gap of $1.6-trillion over five years between what is needed to bring national infrastructure up to reasonable standards and what is now in prospect. The shortfall in investment is aggravated by the fact that most infrastructure money is given out in ways that do not force projects to be evaluated on rational or consistent terms. The writers propose a national investment corporation that would prioritize all projects involving federal funds, replacing current dedicated trust fund approaches. (See 

Universities say new rules could hurt US research – American universities are warning that rules proposed by the Defense Department and expected soon from the Commerce Department could hurt research by limiting the ability of foreign-born students and technicians to work with sensitive technology in laboratories. According to an article in the November 26th New York Times by Scott Shane, the rules govern the use of software, equipment or technical data that have military applications by foreigners who might return home and reproduce the technology there. Universities argue that a student’s country of birth may give no clue to their allegiance, and that the proposed rules would cost universities millions of dollars to inventory sensitive equipment, determine students’ birthplaces, and determine which foreigners were using which machines. (See

Engineers are feeling gloomy – A new survey of more than 4000 engineers conducted by a Portland firm reveals that most are pessimistic about the future of their professions, the state of the nation’s math and science education, and the ability of the US to retain its leadership in technology and innovation. As reported by Aliza Earnshaw in the December 12th Portland Business Journal, these engineers are not alone in their views. A recent rash of reports from national bodies underline engineers’ concerns with their own facts, figures and calls to action. The recent Portland survey reveals the frustration that lies behind the statistics: the decline in engineering graduates, the increasing trend of sending software and electronic design work overseas, and declining performance in math and science by American students compared with peers abroad. Observers note that among other remedies, federal funding for research needs to be boosted if the US is to remain competitive in engineering and technology; it has dropped from 1.25% of GDP in 1985 to 0.78% in 2003. (See

NIH promotes stronger accountability measures for researchers – “Time and effort reporting” would become even more stringent under provisions of new National Institutes of Health (USA) regulations, if they are put into effect.  Institutions would be pressured to ensure that employees knew the reporting requirements, including establishing compliance officers and compliance committees, and also making it easier for violations and suspected violations to be reported anonymously, reports Scott Jaschik in Inside Higher Ed.  (See

Foreign students accounted for high number of US  doctoral grads in 2004 – International students are said to be the driving force behind the increase in the number of doctorate degrees awarded in the US in 2004, reports Scott Smallwood in The Chronicle of Higher Education.  The number of US citizens earning doctorates is the same as it was in 1974.  Because of the lag time between enrollment in a doctoral program and graduation, the numbers for 2004 represent students who began their studies well before the post 9/11 drop in foreign student enrollments.  Women received 45% of all doctorates.  And women received 39% of all doctorates in science and engineering.  China sent more students to receive doctorates in the US than any other country, and of those Chinese graduates, 90% said they planned to stay in the US . (See


3 - Distance education, technology

US institutions to offer quality enhancement to Indian universities – Fifteen US research institutions have signed a memorandum of understanding with the Indian Space Research Organization and other agencies to raise the level of instruction and research across a wide range of Indian institutions through the use of distance education.  Princeton , Harvard, the University of Texas and others will involve their faculty in teaching and research activities in disciplines such as engineering, computer science, materials science, nanotechnology, and management sciences which will be disseminated through established networks such as ISRO’s Educat.  (See

Secondary students required to try on-line education – The US state of Michigan is considering requiring all high school students to take an on-line course before they graduate.  Mike Flanagan, the state superintendent of public instruction, said that while students are adept at many computer skills, the ability to learn on-line was a special skill that would help them in college and in engaging in life-long learning.  If implemented, this would be a first of its kind requirement in US secondary education, reports Dan Carnevale in The Chronicle of Higher Education. (See

Bye Bye Blackberry? – There is much anxiety throughout America that a long-running patent infringement battle between the maker of Blackberry, Research in Motion, and NTP, a tiny patent holding company, might cause a service shutdown. NTP has asked a federal court in Virginia to block Blackberry service to everyone in the US except government and aid agency account holders. According to articles in the December 1st and 3rd New York Times by Ian Austen, a showdown developed after a court dismissed RIM’s request to impose a failed $450-million settlement agreement between the two companies. RIM says that it has developed a new software technology that does not infringe on NTP’s patents, and would provide a way to avoid any injunction – but it has offered little information on that fix. (See

On-line ed business bigger than music – In the US, for-profit institutions account for just 5% of all students, but 35% of all students studying on-line do so with for-profit institutions, reports Goldie Blumenstyk in The Chronicle of Higher Education.  It is figures such as these which provide support for the projection that spending for on-line education will hit $10.4 billion by 2007. The market for on-line education overseas is enormous, eclipsing even the much discussed online music business.  (See


4 - Students, faculty, education

US government sues to stop minority-only programs - The US Department of Justice has challenged the way in which Southern Illinois University is using National Science Foundation funds, according to an article by Jeffrey Mervis in the November 25th Science. The issue is whether the university is violating the civil rights of Caucasian students by offering graduate fellowships to underrepresented minorities under an NSF program called “Bridges to the Doctorate”. The case is the latest skirmish in an ongoing battle over federal programs aimed at boosting the tiny percentage of Hispanics, African Americans, and Native Americans in the scientific workforce. Conservative groups have pushed for the elimination of all racially exclusive programs at both the state and federal levels, and several universities have canceled such programs or changed their eligibility criteria. But proponents say they are necessary to accomplish the goal of greater participation in science by minorities. (See

Famous study of US doctoral programs being revamped – Next spring  the US National Research Council will undertake its third major study of the quality of US doctoral programs, but this time will take a different approach, hoping, in part, to put a damper on the current ratings frenzy.  The survey, previously conducted in 1983 and 1995, will be based not on scholars’ ratings, but on quantifiable information, and will group together like institutions so as to minimize misguided efforts to draw meaning from insignificant statistical differences.  The study will also increase the number of disciplines investigated from 42 to 57.  New fields are biological and agricultural engineering, performance studies and infectious diseases, among others, writes Doug Lederman in Inside Higher Education.  Lastly, a major difference in this round of ratings is that schools wanting to be included will have to pay part of the costs, estimated at between $5,000 and $20,000, depending on the number of degrees they award.  (See

Virtual tutors with and without faces – Researchers are refining programs that create virtual tutors to help students work their way successfully through assignments.  Amy L. Baylor of Florida State University is creating a digital person, based on studies about what virtual characters students would learn from best.  In one study, 79 female students were asked to select the virtual tutor they would like to learn about engineering from: they selected a male tutor, “uncool but attractive,” thus reinforcing other similar studies. An alternative to digital persons is a text based tutorial, which creates text prompts when students ask for help in completing an assignment.  But, writes Jeffrey R. Young in The Chronicle of Higher Education, people involved in creating these tutorials, whether human in form or text-based, strongly believe that this approach is the wave of the future.  (See


5 – Employment

Is the US losing the global race for talent? – In an op-ed article in the November 21st Wall Street Journal, Devesh Kapur and John McHale address the issue of the global race to attract talent. The authors note that other industrialized countries recognize the importance of human capital for economic growth, and that they have ratcheted up recruitment of the world’s mobile talent. Meanwhile, the US – the undisputed leader in attracting global talent to date – has erected barriers for skilled migrants and watches passively as they stay at home or go elsewhere. According to the Pew Hispanic Research Center , the US has seen the number of legal immigrants, who tend to be more educated, fall by nearly a third over the past few years. Enrollment of foreign students in US universities declined for the first time since the 1950s. And Congress has failed to extend higher limits for H-1B visa entrants. The authors argue that the US economy relies on this fuel of well educated immigrants, and state that the current ambivalence towards foreign talent risks depriving US universities and businesses of the high-octane fuel that helps drive the American innovation machine. (See

America ’s high-tech quandary – China is headed toward a million engineering graduates a year, and India is not far behind at some 350,000 per year – compared with maybe 75,000 in the US . According to a major article in the December 5th Design News by Charles Murray, American leaders are asking ‘what can we do?’. There is a smorgasbord of technical arenas from which foreign competitors could emerge superior due to this imbalance: automotive, energy, medical, defense, software, consumer electronics, factory automation, and generic engineering. Some argue that numbers do not matter, but that it is the quality of engineering, the innovation and the breakthroughs that count. But those who have observed the quality of current schools in China and India , and the quality of their graduates, believe otherwise. And while competitors have a national resolve to improve engineering education and practice, the US has not had such a will since the post-Sputnik era following 1957. The author argues that the US must alert policymakers of the issue, invest in corporate R&D for new products, establish a national technological mission, and stay the course. (See

What’s the return on education? – This academic year, almost $1-trillion will be spent on education in the US – almost 10% of the total economy. Writing in the December 11th New York Times, Anna Bernasek asks what is the return on all that money. Some of the benefits are economic, where specialized knowledge and skills lead to higher incomes, greater productivity, and generation of valuable ideas. And there are social and cultural benefits, such as making friends, learning social rules and norms, and understanding civic roles. Today more Americans attend college than ever before, and economists believe that this leads to maintaining a functioning democracy and is a source of wealth creation for all. But the rest of the world is catching up, with the once-large educational gap with the US closing. (See

Nearshoring alternatives to offshoring – While many eyes were fixed on outsourcing activities in India , Eastern Europe was steadily building its own niche as a place that offers qualified workers paid substantially less than in more developed countries.  An article entitled “The rise of nearshoring” in The Economist of December 3, 2005 , describes the significant changes that have occurred in the countries of the former Soviet Union since the collapse of the USSR .  The Czech Republic , for example, has lured Siemens to put its data-processing operations there, and the language abilities of many of the citizens in the region represent a significant saleable talent much in demand by many companies.  Pressure to attract investments is also placing pressure on governments to make additional modifications of lingering vestiges of old-style controlled economies.  (See


6 – Journals

Global Journal of Engineering Education – The current issue, vol. 9, no. 2, contains a collection of articles that were awarded UICEE Best Paper Awards at conferences organized by the UNESCO International Centre for Engineering Education in 2005, as well as some invited contributions – a dozen papers in all. Topics range from diversifying engineering education to a liberal approach to teaching advanced engineering courses. The lead article, “UNESCO Based Efforts at Capacity Building from 1992 to 2005”, was written by one of the editors of this Digest, Russel Jones. (See

International Journal of Engineering Education – A special issue on Innovative Approaches to Control Engineering Education is included in vol.21 no. 6 of this journal. Some 15 papers address topics in control engineering education such as web based laboratories, context-based learning, simulation, and mobile robots. The issue also contains seven diverse papers on engineering education, including articles on personal development planning for students, and learning centered approaches to engage engineering students. (See

Online Journal of Global Engineering Education – The University of Rhode Island has launched a new Online Journal of Global Engineering Education,  and issued a first call for papers. The journal is intended to serve as a unique peer-reviewed research outlet for the cross-disciplinary and corporate constituencies involved in creating, maintaining, and growing global engineering education programs. (See    


7 – Meeting

Engineering for the Americas - An "Engineering for the Americas " Symposium was held in Lima , Peru , at the end of November, with a focus on capacity building for job creation and Hemispheric competitiveness. The intense three day program included discussions of the needs of the productive sector, enhancement of engineering education and its quality assurance, and country level planning for improving technical capabilities as a road to global competitiveness and trade. The meeting was organized by the Office of Education, Science and Technology of the Organization of American States, with major financial support from the US Trade and Development Agency and several corporations. Follow-up activities will include a series of workshops on the development of accreditation systems, studies to develop information on topics opened during the Symposium, presentations at several upcoming international meetings, and a series of workshops on country level funding to enhance technical capabilities. (See


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