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Engineering skills education: the Bachelor of Engineering programme of the 'Vrije Universiteit Brussel' as a case study

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The Bologna process has triggered an important change in the course outline towards a sustainable, transparent and quality- driven European education system. In Belgium, engineering education had to be completely revised. The transformation of the former system, leading to the degree of academic engineer after five years of study, into the typical Bologna 3+2 structure leading to the academic degrees of Bachelor of Engineering and Master of Engineering, respectively, has created opportunities to completely reconsider and restructure the engineering education at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. One of the main objectives of the new programme was to explicitly meet all the requirements with respect to the education output contained in the 'Dublin descriptors' and that of present-day society at large. In this paper, we report on our experience in this transformation. To this end, we use the outcomes of the consultation with alumni, our self-assessments and assessments by an international panel appointed by the VLIR-VLOA (Flemish-Dutch inspection commissions) that took place in 2004 and 2007.

Keywords: creativity; curriculum development; institutional and organisational change; new engineering competencies; new learning methods

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03043790902721496

Affiliations: Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium

Publication date: June 1, 2009

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