Engineering Education for Competitiveness: Improving Engineering Curricula in Latin America and the Caribbean – Industrial Engineering Module
Organization of American States (OAS)
OAS’ Office of Science, Technology and Innovation (OSTI) conducted a preliminary analysis of academic programs in LAC engineering schools. As a result, it identified some essential elements present in top engineering study programs that are missing in most LAC programs. Those elements are first curricular flexibility, second focus in critical soft skills such as leadership, ethics and entrepreneurship, and third a strong linkage of schools with the private sector.
Aware of the urgent need to upgrade LAC curricula, the OAS´ Engineering for the Americas (EftA) has taken on the challenge of improving engineering curricula through the Engineering Education for Competitiveness Program (EEC). EftA is a hemispheric initiative supported by the highest authorities of science, technology and innovation (STI) in LAC and North America in the Ministerial Meetings of Peru 2005 and Mexico 2008. Its three main objectives are education improvement, quality assurance in education and job creation. EEC is EftA´s flagship educational-improvement program that focuses on engineering education as a catalyst for innovation, competitiveness and economic growth. The EEC´s program objective is to help improve the quality of engineering curricula in LAC universities, and thus, to create better-prepared engineers. In the long term, these engineers will increase countries competitiveness, enhance innovation and bring sustainable and inclusive development. As a result, economical development will produce an incentive to increase engineering capacity through better jobs and better wages in the region.
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