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Conference of European schools for Advanced
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Statement on Scientific Engineering Education and Common Training Framework (CTF)

       

Having taken note of the outcome of the project on `Common Training Principles for Engineers` executed by the European Council of Engineers Chambers (ECEC), the Conference of European Schools for Advanced Engineering Education and Research (CESAER) with this statement expresses its views on scientific engineering education and the Common Training Framework (CTF). As our fifty-one leading doctorate-granting universities of science & technology from twenty-six countries are the major providers of scientific engineering education in Europe, we take position on the findings from this project, express our views on the proposed steps forward and present alternative routes:

  • The universities of science & technology united within CESAER deliver highly qualified engineers able to (a) work beyond the boundaries of existing knowledge and technology, (b) promote innovation, and (c) assume leading positions in academia, business, industry and public services. Our research- and innovation-based engineers contribute to the competitiveness and sustainability of Europe.
  • Our educational programmes and degrees are strongly based on cutting-edge science & technology and take the newest developments and research results into account. That is why they require a qualification at least at the level of the 2nd cycle, i.e. Master degree.
  • We underline the importance of internal quality assurance mechanisms and strongly oppose detailed intervention into the contents and structures of engineering programmes and degrees.
  • Any formats, processes and structures of scientific engineering education are under the exclusive authority of the universities themselves. Scientific engineering education thus should be subjected solely to the usual (internal) quality assurance and accreditation mechanisms.
  • Accreditation, including external professional perspectives, is currently common practice and focuses on both the internal and external quality assurance mechanisms. Its implementation is directed toward continuous quality improvement across the whole education cycle - i.e. from student intake to graduation. Accreditation reflects the underlying educational, institutional and external professional objectives.
  • We emphasise that accreditation should be forward looking and directed towards quality and programme enhancement.
  •  We urge national governments not to intervene in our (academic) scientific engineering education and degrees at any level.
  • We urge these public services, business, industries and professional associations to engage in a structured dialogue at European level with us universities of science & technology, to agree on those disciplines for which chartered engineering status (professional qualifications) is absolutely necessary and to collaborate with us in developing sound Sectoral Qualification Frameworks (SQFs) for them.
  • These SQFs have to build upon the three-cycle academic qualifications provided by the universities (BSc, MSc and PhD), take professional experience and practice as well as the professional environment into account and assign the licensing authority to an appropriate professional body at European level, outside governments and universities.
  • We urge the EC and ECEC to cease 1) their attempts to come to a CTF for Civil Engineers in the short term and 2) the efforts for a collective, approach to common training principles for engineers, by way of a ‘lowest common denominator approach’ across EEA member states.
  • In order to promote recognition of this limited number of chartered engineers across borders, we strongly suggest establishing SQFs at the European level exclusively allowing for the automatic recognition of these limited professional qualifications under the directive.

Read the full statement here

For more information and enquiries, please contact

Ralph Bruder, Chair of our Task Force Scientific Engineering Education (TFSEE) at

 ralph.bruder@pvw.tu-darmstadt.de

Lieve Coninx, Head of Relations at lieve.coninx@cesaer.org

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