Internationalization of the engineering curriculum: A two decade journey, spanning three continents,

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Internationalization of the engineering curriculum: A two decade journey, spanning three continents,
Autor John Buckeridge, Mathias Wilichowski, Norbert Grünwald
In: Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Engineering & Business Education, Østfold University College, Fredrikstad, Norway from 8 – 9 October 2015,
ISBN/ISSN: ISBN: 978-3-942100-38-0
Erscheinungsjahr 2015
Seitenzahl pp. 31-38
Review peer

Abstract This paper describes a move to internationalize the engineering curriculum that began, following German initiatives, in the late 20th century. It provides the rationale that led to a course on professional ethics, and an overview of how the subject has evolved over the period. It reviews different cultural perspectives, following delivery in Australia, Germany and New Zealand. It concludes with a review of post-course feedback from German students – this group was chosen in light of the course being delivered in English, rather in their native language. Irrespective of this, feedback has been consistently positive. The university in which the course has been run was once part of East Germany. Although reunification in 1989 provided opportunities to embrace greater access to international mobility and the global academic community, initially the resources to accomplish this, especially to access English literature, were absent. The first two or three cohorts of students that enrolled in this ethics course began their schooling with Russian as their second language of tuition and it was to take several decades before English was widely taught. Any lack of proficiency in English however was balanced by enthusiasm to embrace new opportunities. This is reflected in their feedback. The course is heavily based upon group work, with peer assessed student presentations; it is woven around a series of case studies of increasing complexity that illustrate ethical conundrums in the workplace. The course has been a success because it not only provides a framework for professional conduct, but because it challenges participants to make (and then defend) ethical judgments arising from these case studies. And it does so in English.