Relationships Among Economy, Industry, Vocational Education and Training and Higher Engineering Education – The Trefort Project Editorial

Istvan Simonics

Abstract


It is a great pleasure to contribute some words to the debate about Engineering Education as well as to broaden the discussion about the future evolution of this discipline. Thanks to the International Journal of Engineering Pedagogy (iJEP) and its editor-in-chief, Matthias Utesch, as well as to the collaboration between the IGIP (International Society for Engineering Pedagogy), we have received a possibility to collect the best papers of our 9th Trefort Ágoston Conference on Vocational Education and Training and Technical Teacher Training at Óbuda University (ÓE) Electrical Engineering Faculty in Budapest, in Hungary. The Conference was organized as an IGIP Regional Conference for the third time. Before introducing the articles, I summarize the main important elements influencing the Higher Engineering Education in Hungary. The Fourth Industrial Revolution unfolds, companies are seeking to harness new and emerging technologies to reach higher levels of efficiency of production and consumption, expand into new markets, and compete on new products for a global consumer base composed increasingly of digital natives. There are several requirements for qualified engineers: they have to be creative, critical thinking, complex program solvers and have to have competencies of cognitive flexibility, high-level communication, teamwork, and application of foreign languages. At our university, we have recognized several problems according to SWOT analyses. Not enough number of students would like to select STEM faculties. The rate of early school leaving (ESL) is too high in the STEM area. Requests of the Labor market have not appeared in Training curricula. The candidate students do not know the future carrier and the content they have to learn. In secondary schools, the development of basic competencies and STEM subjects is not effective e.g. teaching Math is not practice-oriented, this is why the results of students on PISA tests are weaker. The preparation for higher education is not enough, which leads to ESL by the end of the first year in higher education. The quality of knowledge of secondary education pupils is an important input for engineering higher education. The vocational secondary schools can provide the majority of starting engineering studies at technical universities. The technical teacher training prepares the vocational teachers for secondary vocational schools. The quality of technical teacher training, the adequacy of curricula to professional needs can be key questions for the future of engineering education. The practice of vocational teacher-students is a basic element of their studies. These practices are organized in secondary vocational schools. But realizing these practices needs a mentor teacher. In this Trefort Project, we selected 6 presentations and asked the authors to submit their articles for a Special Issue of the International Journal of Engineering Pedagogy (iJEP).

Keywords


Economy, Industry, STEM, Vocational Education and Training, Higher Engineering Education

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International Journal of Engineering Pedagogy (iJEP) – eISSN: 2192-4880
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