October 2006

Copyright © 2006 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. Jones, Ph.D.


1 - International developments

2 - US developments

3 - Technology

4 - Students, faculty, education

5 – Employment, competitiveness

6 – Journals

7 – Meetings



1 - International developments

South Korean approved as UN Secretary General -- The United Nations has overwhelmingly approved South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki Moon as its next Secretary General, according to an article in the October 14th Washington Post. Ban, age 62, will become the eighth Secretary General in the UN’s 60 year history on January 1st, 2007, when Kofi Annan’s second five year term expires. Ban will oversee an organization with 92,000 peacekeepers around the world and a $5-billion annual budget. (See

Microloan father awarded Nobel Peace Prize -- Bangaladeshi economist Muhamad Yunus has been awarded this year’s Nobel Peace Prize for financing the business aspirations of “millions of small people”.  According to an article in the October 14th Wall Street Journal by Michael Phillips, the award’s judges made a clear attempt to draw a connection between poverty and conflict. Mr. Yunus shared the prize with Grameen Bank, the institution he founded decades ago to provide tiny loans to help some of the world’s most impoverished people start businesses, and to prove that the poor, especially women, could be trusted to repay. Grameen (which means “village” or “rural”) boasts 6.6-million borrowers, and has lent some $5.7-billion. (See

Campus jihad -- UK intelligence officials have provided a chilling assessment of the terrorist threat Britain faces, according to an article by Anthony Glees in the October 23rd Wall Street Journal. They now judge that Britain ’s “home grown” terrorists – often on university campuses – are being organized, trained and controlled by al Qaeda forces in Pakistan . At least 13 convicted Islamic terrorists and four suicide bombers have been students at British universities, where Islamist student societies make full use of university resources. A leaked government draft document advising universities to inform on suspicious looking students has ignited a debate about how universities ought to tackle extremism, and how much of a problem it is. (See

China hunts trophy professors -- Chinese universities are basking in the glow of top-gun scientists hired on part-time deals to share their wisdom. But according to an article in the September 22nd Science by Hao Xin, critics say that the money – spent to bring Chinese-born stars with full time appointments overseas back for handsomely paid short working stints in the homeland -- could be spent more wisely.  Some proponents consider part-time academic appointments a critical means of staunching China ’s loss of scientific talent. Critics, however, contend that part-timers often are less important as professors than as tools in the battle for prestige and resources. (See

Engineering education vital for Africa ’s growth -- Writing in The East African, Harvard professor Calestous Juma notes that African counties are seeking ways to stimulate economic growth and expand their role in the global economy, but are hampered by poor infrastructure. Without adequate infrastructure, Africa will not be able to harness the power of science and innovation to meet development objectives and be competitive in international markets. In addition to promoting trade and helping countries to integrate into world markets, such infrastructure is also fundamental to human development including the delivery of health and education services. The worldwide engineering community is being challenged to come up with solutions relevant to Africa . Development policies advocated for Africa over the past two decades have generally failed to draw from experiences elsewhere, with critical lessons regarding the role of engineering in development either ignored or their application discouraged. One of the key challenges facing Africa lies in finding ways to strengthen engineering education there. (See the 16 October 2006 posting on

Will foreign universities come to India ? -- For decades, India has sent its best and brightest away to study, sometimes never to return. Now, according to an article in the October 6th Business Week by Nandini Lakshman, Indian leaders want the schools to come to them. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government is trying to open up the country’s heavily regulated educational system to foreign direct investment, to attract some of the world’s best universities to set up campuses in India . India needs better schools to meet the needs of the world’s largest pool of young people; some 60% of India ’s 1-billion-plus population is below the age of 25. And there are concerns about the quality of Indian students currently emerging from the domestic higher education system. But removing obstacles such as the controversial quota system that reserves coveted seats at universities for underprivileged castes, and overcoming demands that the government regulate the salaries of any foreign university, remains challenging. (See

World university rankings 2006/7 -- The Times Higher Education Supplement has released its ranking of top universities for a third year, generating international interest and debate. The top ten are, in descending order, Harvard, Cambridge, Oxford, MIT, Yale, Stanford, Cal Tech, Berkeley, Imperial College London, and Princeton University. The top ten are similar to previous rankings, with only one of the past top ten demoted – the Ecole Polytechnique in France . Major gainers just outside the top ten are Columbia , Chicago , Australian National University , and Ecole Normale Supérieure in France . North American Universities comprise the largest single group within the rankings, capturing half of the top 50 spots (23 in the US , 2 in Canada ). There are ten European universities in the top 40, and 7 Asian universities in the top 50.The rankings incorporate the views of 3703 academics and 736 recruiters worldwide. (See

French presidential hopefuls promote science --  In the run-up to the April-May 2007 presidential elections, research appears to be shaping up as a serious issue. According to an article by Martin Enserink in the October 6th Science, a parade of presidential hopefuls recently traveled to a prestigious scientific retreat to engage scientists in debate and to promise them better times. The two hottest candidates were absent, but seven candidates who spanned the political spectrum fielded questions for an hour each. French politicians have reason to court scientists this year. A revolt against budget cuts and poor prospects for young researchers brought tens of thousands to the streets in 2004, helping to defeat the governing political party in regional elections. In response to that uprising, President Jacques Chirac offered a research reform bill raising overall research budgets about 20% and creating thousands of new jobs. That “Pact for Science” was approved by the National Assembly this spring. (See

EIT enduring an unsteady launch – The long-anticipated European Institute of Technology, designed to rival the US Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is, according to many, a white elephant, a vanity project that is already having a hard time obtaining needed support from private industry.  Meanwhile, battles are being waged across the EU by cities fighting to become the headquarters of the EIT, and existing institutions are fearful that the project will siphon funds from their own already depleted budgets, writes David Charter in the October 12 edition of Timesonline.  (See

Jordan to expand higher education -- The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has begun an ambitious plan to position itself as a major hub of higher education by developing its programs in science and technology, writes Katherine Zoepf in the October 6 edition of The Chronicle of Higher Education. The way their government leaders are looking at it, the country does not have either a large population or significant natural resources, so it will attempt to attract foreign students with highly competitive academic and research programs. The task ahead of it is enormous: Jordan must increase higher education’s capacity by about 50%, create several new universities, partner with foreign universities, and strengthen its research capabilities in strategic areas such as computer science, pharmaceuticals and graphic design.  Included in the grand plan are ideas to bolster the humanities as well, although some critics say that the progress comes at a price: deterioration in the social sciences.  Additional problems that face the country are corruption within higher education, a lack of qualified faculty, and the looming threat of over-crowding. (See

European panel draws up shopping list -- European researchers have compiled a wish list of 35 large-scale projects that they would like to see built over the next two decades. The projects, which must be internationally important and open to all European researchers, include a database on the impact of population aging, a polar research ship, and an underwater neutrino observatory. According to an article in the October 20th Science, the road map was put together at a meeting of officials and scientists from the EU and individual nations, to work out collaborations on big projects. Projects in space science and high-energy particle physics were excluded from the list because they fall under the purview of the European Space Agency and CERN, the European particle physics lab near Geneva . It is hoped that the road map will help promote the idea of open-access facilities. (See

China ’s spending for research outpaces the US --  A recent study has found that an unprecedented surge in research and development spending is helping China catch up with the two longstanding leaders in the field. As reported by Gautam Saik in the September 29th Wall Street Journal, R&D spending in China has been growing at an annual rate of 17%, far higher than the 4 to 5% annual growth rates reported for the USA, Japan and the European Union over the past dozen years. China ’s massive investments in education are also paying off. In 2002 its industrial-research work force was 42% of the size of the equivalent work force in the US , up from 16% in 1991. China ’s technology driven rise could heighten worries that the US is ceding some of its competitive edge in science and technology to Asia ’s new power. (See

Three top German universities win national recognition as “elite” – In a break with a long standing tradition of egalitarianism, three German universities were recently awarded elite status and will receive both fame and large budget increases, reports Aisha Labi in The Chronicle of Higher Education.  The University of Karlsruhe , the Technical University of Munich, and the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich were singled out.  Each of the three had already won previous competitions for their graduate schools and creation of clusters of excellence, which then made them eligible to compete for the elite award.  Karlsruhe , for example, was earlier rewarded for its graduate School of Optics and Photonics, and for its Center for Functional Nanostructures. There will be one additional round of next year, then the competitions will end, leaving over 90 institutional losers.  (See

Imperial College splits from University of London --Amid smiles on the part of both parties, Imperial College formally split off from the University of London on October 4.  The University of London now is composed of 19 units, including the Courtauld Institute of Art, the London Business School , the London School of Economics and Political Science, Royal Holloway, the School of Oriental and African Studies, and University College London, and enrolls about 115,000 students.  Imperial College was recently named one of the top 10 universities in the world and feels that it can be successful on its own, according to a story by Donald MacLeod published in the October 5 online version of the Guardian. October 2007 will mark the first intake for postgraduates entering into the independent Imperial College .  The University of London is looking forward to expansion with partnerships with other institutions, and is revising its statutes accordingly. (See

Report finds substantial cheating across Canadian universities – In a carefully constructed survey, researchers found that over half of Canadian undergraduates admitted to cheating on written course work at college, reports Karen Birchard in The Chronicle of Higher Education.  The study included 15,000 students at 11 universities in five provinces: results were similar across institutions.  Many of the students didn’t believe that what they had done was wrong in some kinds of cheating, and some institutions lack a strategy for dealing with cheating, leading to many cases going unnoticed.  The report is available at (See


2 - US developments

Scholarships for Sudanese students vs. divestment – Faced with student pressure to divest its investments in companies doing business in Sudan , George Washington University in Washington , DC , decided instead to fund a scholarship program for Sudanese students.  GW president Trachtenberg said that he preferred having the university move forward in a way that was constructive, and that did not punish today’s generation.  The university will not divest.  Leaders of student movements in the US which are urging universities to put economic pressure on Sudan in hopes of resolving the Darfur crisis say that GW’s initiative is a good idea but does not substitute for divestments, reports Paul D. Thacker in Inside Higher Ed.  (See

Embracing small science in a big way -- The September 29th issue of Science includes a major article by Adrian Cho on a shift of the emphasis of the US Department of Energy from elementary particle research to materials research. The DOE’s Office of Science, which runs 10 national labs with a budget of $4-billion and provides 42% of the US government’s overall funding for the physical sciences, is leading that redirection. The shift in priorities, which reflects the emerging opportunities in the physical sciences themselves, is changing the role and the culture of the DOE science labs. (See

 Lenders court college’s favor -- With rising tuition and lagging government aid making private student loans a big and increasingly competitive business, lenders are courting universities in hopes that they will steer students their way. According to an article in the October 24th New York Times by Jonathan Glater, students took out nearly $13.8-billion in private loans in 2004-5, more than 10-times the amount borrowed a decade ago. The key to the business is university financial aid offices, which compile lists of “preferred” lenders, sometimes as few as two. Students rarely comparison shop, but instead rely on those lists. Lending companies go to great lengths to build relationships with university officials, including extending  invitations to a resort in the Caribbean . (See

College costs up -- In its annual look at college pricing, the College Board reported that average tuition at four year institutions is up again – up 35% from five years ago, adjusting for inflation. As reported by Michelle Singletary in the October 29th Washington Post, the other bad news is that it is taking students longer to graduate from “four year” institutions: 6.2 years for those in public universities, and 5.3 years for those in private institutions. Part of the reason for longer times to graduation is the need to work to pay the bills, as loan programs top out. (See

Spellings outlines immediate steps to improve US higher education – Only one week after release of the final report from the US Commission on the Future of Higher Education, Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings revealed her five point action plan to implement some of its major findings.  US colleges and universities will become more accessible, accountable and affordable, she claims, once high school classes are more closely aligned with the college curriculum, the application process for federal financial aid is streamlined, students’ progress through higher education can be tracked to the level of the individual, colleges receive incentive money for reporting learning outcomes, and accrediting associations place more importance on student learning, writes Kelly Field in The Chronicle of Higher Education. Implementation of the five points will take both legislation and regulation.  What Spellings did not mention was an increase in the level of Pell grants, and mandatory testing.  A summit of higher education leaders will be convened in spring of 2007.  (See

US losing ground as destination of choice of study abroad – The American Council on Education has released a brief on international students in the US , and has found that the US may be less popular as a destination for study abroad.  Other governments are fighting hard to attract international students, and employing effective strategies of recruitment and coordination to make studying in their countries easier.  Middle Eastern students are electing to study in Europe , Asia or elsewhere in their region rather than attempting to come to the US .  China is growing in attractiveness as a place to study. The number of international students around the world rose from 1.68 million in 1999 to 2.5 million in 2004, and is predicted to climb to 7.2 million by 2025, writes Stu Woo in The Chronicle of Higher Education. (See

Virginia Tech offers degrees in Egypt -- Virginia Tech is now offering graduate degrees in electrical engineering, computer engineering and computer science to students in Egypt, using a combination of face-to-face instruction and video-conferencing, writes Karen Gilbert in the Summer 2006 issue of Global University. Nine students participated in the initial semester in spring 2006, and double that number are anticipated by spring 2007. The program, officially known as the Virginia Tech-Middle East and North Africa program (VT-MENA), is offered with the support of the Arab Academy for Science and Technology, and has received support from USAID as well as UNESCO endorsement.  To initiate the program, faculty from both countries traveled and worked on each other’s campuses. The program is meant to offer new opportunities to women in Egypt . (See also


3 - Technology

Common standards will enhance portability of online content – The “Common Cartridge” is a set of standards that will allow easier migration of digital content across existing online instructional systems such as Blackboard and Sakai .  Three dozen academic publishers and others have agreed to adopt this Common Cartridge by next spring so that materials will appear identically on all their systems.  The big players are Blackboard and WebCT, which together account for 75% of the course management systems in use, reports Doug Lederman in Inside Higher Ed.  While Blackboard has not yet set a date by which it will adopt the Common Cartridge, some say that the intense negative publicity Blackboard has received as a result of attempting to patent some critically important software will ultimately make it do so, despite the potential loss of some business.  (See

Maglev trains lose some magic -- Dreams of everyday travel by magnetic levitation have been shaken after an accident on a test track in Germany , according to an article in the September 30th The Economist. On September 22nd, a maglev train ploughed into a maintenance vehicle at 200kph, killing 23 passengers. A German consortium has been testing maglev trains since the mid 1980’s, and the Japanese have another test track. Maglev trains have the potential of 500kph travel along guideways. Only one maglev train is running commercially, between Shanghai and its airport in China . The German crash has prompted a close look at safety, although the cause was probably human error. (See

College to limit global warming -- The College of the Atlantic in the first in the US to commit to counterbalancing its entire contribution to global warning.  At the initiative of its new president, David F. Hales, the college will look at either reducing its dependence on fossil fuels, or else find ways to compensate by cutting other emissions.  Included in the calculation are the emissions caused by student commuting, reports Juliet Eilperin in the Washington Post.  This announcement came in the same week that saw New York University announce a major investment in wind power.  (See

4 - Students, faculty, education

Trouble on the horizon -- In the cover story of the October 2006 ASEE Prism, writer Thomas Grose reports that at a time when the US needs more engineers to stay competitive, enrollments are declining, particularly among women.. Statistics recently compiled by the American Society for Engineering Education for the 2004-5 academic year indicate that engineering enrollment and graduation rates at US universities are not keeping up with the country’s increasing demand for engineering talent. On a per capita basis, less than 5% of all undergraduate degrees were awarded to engineers, compared with almost 8% in 1995. One reason for the gap is that two large talent pools – women and minorities -- are not choosing to study engineering. (See  for the article, and for the new ASEE data) 

Some colleges cutting merit aid -- As colleges and universities consider whether to join Harvard and Princeton in abandoning early-admissions programs, some are also trying to roll back another popular recruiting tool: merit aid. According to an article in the October 11th Wall Street Journal by Robert Tomsho, colleges have offered merit aid to attract top students who can help boost their national rankings. But the cost of such programs has risen as their use has expanded and tuition has risen. And criticism has grown that such aid disproportionately benefits students from wealthier communities with better school systems, siphoning resources away from lower-income students with greater financial need. As a result, a small but growing number of schools and university systems are trying to reduce their merit offerings. (See

Why it takes a doctorate to beat inflation --  The typical American worker with a four-year college degree earns 45% more than a similar worker who did not go beyond high school. Education does pay, but according to an article in the October 19th Wall Street Journal by David Wessel, getting a bachelor’s degree is no longer a guarantee of raises big enough to beat inflation. Although the best college grads are doing well, wages of college grads have fallen on average in the past five years, after adjusting for inflation. The only group that enjoyed rising wages between 2000 and 2005 were the small slice with graduate degrees. This trend seems to be due to the uneven rise in worker pay, with the best paid workers getting the bulk of raises. And the wage gap between those with business, law, medical or other postgraduate degrees has widened much more than the gap between college and high school graduates. (See

Debate on virtual science classes -- Prompted by skeptical university professors, the College Board is questioning whether Internet-based laboratories are an acceptable substitute for hands-on laboratory science. As part of a broader audit of the thousands of high school courses that carry the Advanced Placement trademark, the board has recruited panels of university professors and experts in Internet-based learning to scrutinize the quality of such online labs. Professors are saying that simulations can be really good and that they use them to supplement their own lab work, but that they are concerned about giving credit to students who have never had any experience with a hands-on lab. This story was reported in the October 20th New York Times by Sam Dillon. (See

NSF study details the history of the Ph.D. in the US – The US National Science Foundation released a comprehensive study of the doctoral degree in the US , revealing a number of interesting facts, writes Doug Lederman in Inside Higher Ed.  By 1999, over 50% of doctoral recipients were in educational debt; by 1995-1999 the median time it took to earn the degree had risen to almost 11 years; and of the 1.35 million doctorates awarded in the US between 1920 and 1999, 62% were in science and engineering.  A small cadre of 50 baccalaureate institutions produced more than a third of doctoral recipients between 1920 and 1999, and community colleges remained important feeder institutions as well.  Women received 41% of the degrees in 1999, up from 15% in the early 20s.  (See

The glass ceiling in German science – An article in a recent issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education on the lack of women in senior positions in science in Germany presents the views of both women who believe that the system is stacked against them, and those who believe that some women just do not have the determination to succeed.  Aisha Labi wrote the article, including interviews with women scientists.  In 2004, only 5.6% of the full professors in natural sciences in German universities were women.  That compares with 12.3% in France , 15.9% in Italy , and 8.8% in the top research universities in the US .  Those who think that the structure of science works against women’s advancement point to the fact that mentors – key to upward mobility – are overwhelmingly male, that day care for children is not adequate, and that other European countries with Germanic cultures share similar problems.  Some women scientists, however, believe that affirmative action-like initiatives have only brought about interviews with unqualified candidates, and that most women just don’t want to take the risks that a high power career in sciences requires.  (See

New help for community college math instruction US community colleges are on the front-lines of the battle to remediate and improve the performance of students who increasingly graduate from secondary schools with inadequate math skills.  The American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges recently published a report – “Beyond Crossroads” – which includes suggestions on how to improve instruction, useful in particular for the part-time instructors who are responsible for 44% of the math courses in two year colleges, reports Elizabeth Redden in Inside Higher Ed.  (See

No dates, no dancing -- An article in the October 16th Time by Aryn Baker analyzes why Pakistan ’s university students are embracing the fundamentalist life. What is striking is that the climate of conservatism found on campuses such as Punjab University in Lahore is being driven by students, not by faculty or administrators or government officials. The largest student group on campus at Punjab is pressing to have the institution reflect its view that Pakistan is an Islamic country, and that its universities must reflect that fact in curriculum, course syllabuses, faculty selection, and even degree programs. This fall when the university’s administrators tried to introduce a program in musicology and the performing arts, the campus erupted in protest. In a country where most politicians cut their teeth as student activists, the rise of fundamentalist student groups provides clues to Pakistan ’s political future. (See

“Threads” and “roles” inform new computer science curriculum – In light of the current bust in computer science enrollments the Georgia Institute of Technology ( USA ) has restructured its computer science program to make sure that graduates are flexible and employable even in this volatile environment.  Rather than tackling a core curriculum, students will select two of eight “threads” such as computational modeling, intelligence, and media.  Many of the courses will involve faculty outside of computer sciences.  In addition, students will select a “role” for themselves, as entrepreneurs, communicators or programmers.  The result is an interdisciplinary program tailored to the interests and needs of students, and with job prospects that should not be vulnerable to rapid shifts in industry, writes Scott Jaschik in InsideHigher Ed.  (See

MIT plans general education revisions – A faculty committee at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has recommended several radical changes in the undergraduate curriculum, including ending the practice of permitting students to place out of required courses through use of AP credit, and designing strategies for enabling more students to study abroad.  Also proposed is the end of the traditional core of six science courses, to be replaced by more choices and an emphasis on hands-on science.  The proposals still have to be debated and voted upon by the whole faculty, reports Scott Jaschik in Inside Higher Ed, but the report has already generated considerable interest, coming as it does from one of the world’s premier universities in engineering and science.  (See

Gallaudet protests lead to firing of president-elect -- The board of trustees of Gallaudet University , surrendering to months of protest by students, alumni and advocates of a traditional sign-language approach to deaf communication, has abandoned its choice of the institution’s next president. According to an article in the October 30th New York Times by Diana Jean Schemo,  the board announced after an all-day emergency meeting that “with much pain and regret” it would terminate the contract of Jane Fernandes to succeed the outgoing President. The victory of the protestors at Gallaudet, who had closed the campus over the past month, signals that the next president must be firmly committed to nurturing a deaf culture among students and advocating for deaf rights. The battle over Gallaudet’s future erupted at a time of massive change in the deaf world, with technological advances like cochlear implants and more effective hearing aids being felt by many in the forefront of the deaf-rights movement as an assault on deaf culture and deaf identity. Dr. Fernandes, who is deaf, had argue that Gallaudet should aggressively recruit all deaf students and harness any available technology to help them to advance. (See

Harvard faculty debate undergraduate curriculum changes Harvard University admits that most of its undergraduates will not go on to become academics, so they need the kind of education that will prepare them for issues that they will confront off-campus, according to an article that appeared on October 5 in the on-line edition of The Boston Globe.  This is one of the reasons behind the latest recommendations of an internal curriculum review committee.  The committee’s suggested changes include making each undergraduate student take a course in religion, US history, science and technology, and “Cultural Traditions and Cultural Change,” along with continued emphasis on writing and critical thinking.   This report will be debated by the faculty, may be revised, and will be adopted only if approved by the entire Arts and Sciences faculty.  (See

AAUP calls for limits on institutional review boards – The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) is calling for the elimination of institutional review boards where chances of subjects incurring real harm are minimal, reports Paul D. Thacker in Inside Higher Ed.  IRBs are important where the potential for harm is high, but mindlessly applied, they can stifle research.  The report lists some prominent examples of abuse, including the linguist who was required to obtain written approval from subjects of a study of the illiterate. (See


5 – Employment, competitiveness

US competitiveness and the profession of engineering -- The Fall 2006 issue of The Bent of Tau Beta Pi contains a long, thoughtful paper by James Flanagan on the history of technical competitiveness in the US . The author points out that knowledge creation is preeminent to leadership, and that knowledge creation derives from basic research. Support for such research has languished in the US in recent years as government funding has decreased and industry has reduced its R&D investments. An abiding concern is that societal contributions of research in physical sciences and engineering have less public visibility because they are more difficult to relate to the daily lives of individual citizens. The author argues for a coalition of concerned individuals and organizations to enhance public awareness and gain congressional attention for support of the basic physical sciences that will help protect the future competitiveness  of the US . (See

Critical shortages of employable engineers and technical workers ahead in India – Although India is turning out about 400,000 engineers each year, only about 25% of them are employable.  This was the finding of a study commissioned by the National Association of Software and Service Companies, writes Somini Sengupta in the online edition of The New York Times on October 17.  The number of technology jobs in India is predicted to double to 1.7 million by 2010, so companies that want to expand are fighting to find graduates to hire.  The best universities are full and many new private institutions are not preparing students adequately.  As a result, demand is pushing up salaries, and critical shortages are predicted. (See

Report on internationalization reveals changes, risks, benefits – The International Association of Universities, part of UNESCO, recently released the results of a 2005 survey of university leaders in 95 countries, writes Paul Mooney in The Chronicle of Higher Education.  70% of respondents believed that there were some risks associated with increasing internationalization of higher education, including “commercialization and commodification,” as well as brain drain.  Since the survey was last administered in 2003, North America has fallen from second to third place as the destination of choice for European collaboration, and distance education, which formerly was one of the fastest growing  parts of internationalization, now is considered one of the least active parts. Jane Knight, author of “Internationalization of Higher Education: New Directions, New Challenges: 2005 IAU Global Survey Report,” (available upon request to says that national governments are generally not supporting international education at the policy and funding levels.  (See


6 – Journals

Journal of Engineering Education -- The October 2006 issue of this ASEE sponsored research journal for engineering education includes seven research articles and a special report on  the research agenda for the new discipline of engineering education. The report argues for research in engineering education to be the engine that drives change to improve the technical proficiency of students and teachers, increase interest in engineering and awareness of the social impact of the engineering profession, increase diversity in the engineering student body, and increase the US contribution to the global engineering workforce. The report presents five research areas that will collectively serve as a foundation of the new discipline of engineering education. (See

International Journal of Engineering Education --  The current issue is comprised of a special issue on Trends in Robotics Education, prepared by Guest Editor Gerard McKee of the University if Reading , consisting of a dozen focused papers, plus a second section of nine papers covering a diversity of contributions in engineering education. (See

Education for Chemical Engineers --  A new on-line international peer-reviewed journal dedicated to all aspects of the education of chemical engineers has been launched by the UK Institution of Chemical Engineers. ECE aims to be the principal international journal for the publication of high quality, original papers in chemical, process and biomolecular engineering education. (See


7 – Meetings

African Regional Conference on Engineering Education -- The third in a series of African conferences on engineering education was held in Pretoria , South Africa , during 26-27 September 2006. It focused on Engineering Education for Sustainable Development, and included tracks on accreditation and other issues facing engineering education, student learning, innovation in teaching, curriculum development, computer usage, and the industrial interface. Three days of workshops on enhancement of engineering education, organized by the World Federation of Engineering Organizations’s Committee on Capacity Building , followed the main conference. A major highlight of the conference was the formal establishment of the African Engineering Education Association, a new organization for engineering educators in Africa . The new organization will have its secretariat at Cape Town University in South Africa , and its first president from Nigeria . (See

Global Colloquium on Engineering Education -- The 5th in a series of global colloquia on engineering education organized by the American Society for Engineering Education was held in Rio de Janeiro from 8-12 October 2006. The theme of the meeting was Engineering Education in the Americas and Beyond. Three tracks provide the structure of the meeting: development  of curriculum for the global engineer, Engineering for the Americas , and primary and secondary education. A major highlight of the meeting was the establishment of the International Federation of Engineering Education Societies (IFEES), with over 30 engineering education organizations from around the world forming its initial membership. Claudio Bori, current President of the European Society for Engineering Education, was elected President of IFEES. Its secretariat will be at ASEE headquarters in the US . (See



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