The Nordic Future Engineer.
How will the Engineering Education look like in 2030? This question has been raised globally as a number of reports show that today's Engineering Education does not deliver the engineers that the employers will need tomorrow (Royal Academi, 2007; Graham, 2018). There is a growing gap between education and societal needs. Society demands engineers capable of co-creating a sustainable society. In addition to this, industry demands engineers with experience in project management, with ability to learn and adapt quickly as carrier paths will change more rapidly (Hadgraft, 2017; OECD, 2017. Digitalisation, increased system understanding and process skills are other integral parts of the forth industrial revolution (Schwab, 2016).
In all Nordic countries, the general understanding is that education is a crucial part of the responses to these challenges. However, the Nordic countries face challenges in terms of identifying future competence profiles and developing adequate capacity within innovative and sustainable competences across traditional discipline boundaries. The Nordic countries have until now, applied different strategies for meeting these challenges, but we believe that, because the countries share much of their history and culture, overall welfare values and are geographically close, a common knowledge base and collaboration between these countries in particular, will empower the Nordic region and eventually also strengthen the global consensus.
In 2018, a Nordic STEM initiative was established, with the aim to empower the Nordic region when it comes to STEM education. In the start-up phase of this project, universities representing each country participate, namely; Aalborg university- Denmark, Aalto University- Finland, KTH- Sweden, Stavanger University- Norway and Reykjavik University- Iceland, as well as one partner representing Nordic Engineering universities, Nordtek and one representing the Nordic Engineers, ANE.
In this paper the Nordic STEM initiative present a study that wants to answer the question: How does faculty at Nordic universities express their vision for engineering education development in their field, and, how can a framework be shaped for this development, cross-nationally and cross-disciplinary. In is study, five Nordic universities have given their view of what is needed in order to meet the challenges the engineering profession faces. Five professors at each university, representing at least the three different program areas, mechanical-, chemical- and computer science engineering has been interviewed using a semi-structured interview methodology. Also, the Deans of education for all universities has been participating as interviewees in the study. The education of the future was investigated using a qualitative approach and three focus areas were selected to represent this future phenomenon. The professors where both asked to spy around ideas for development of future education as well as to reflect on best practices worldwide. Data was analysed through a coding scheme and similarities and differences between countries and programs are discussed in the paper.
This is a part of a larger study in where the Nordic STEM-initiative will present a vision of tomorrow's engineering education program, as experts in the Nordic countries should design it.
Graham, R. (2018). The global state of the art in engineering education. Retrieved from: https://jwel.mit.edu/assets/document/global-state-art-engineering-education
Hadgraft, R. (2017). Transforming Engineering Education: DESIGN must be the Core. Paper presented at the SEFI Annual Conference 2017, Azores.
Lorenz, M., Rüßmann, M., Strack, R., Lueth, K. L., & Bolle, M. (2015). Man and machine in Industry 4.0: How will technology transform the industrial workforce through 2025. The Boston Consulting Group. https://www. bcgperspectives. com/content/articles/technology-business-transformationengineered-products-infrastructure-man-machine-industry-4.
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Royal Academy of Engineering. (2007). Educating Engineers for the 21st Century. Retrieved from http://www.raeng.org.uk/news/publications/list/reports/Educating_Engineers_21st_Century.pdf
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