Engineering Education Scenario in Singapore Universities with Reference to India

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Engineering Education Scenario in Singapore Universities with reference to India
Dr. Sushma S. Kulkarni, Director, Prof Martand T. Telsang, Dean academics Rajarambapu Institute of Technology, Islampur, Sangli, Maharashtra, www.ritindia.edu

1.0 Relevance of Engineering education in India with respect to global scenario

India has seen sudden growth of engineering Colleges in last 5- 7 years. In 2005-06 the number of colleges was 1475 and total number of seats was 499697. Whereas the numbers in 2010-11 is increased to 3241 colleges and 13,24,246 seats (data as published on AICTE website). The number of engineering colleges in the current year 2012-13 will soon rise to 3500 and more. The mushrooming of Institutes is in very small span of time and also geographically unbalanced. Now when we compare the technical education scenario in India with the world the situation is alarming. At present the number of engineering graduates passing out from these institutes is approximately 14 lack but the survey conducted by various agencies like NASSCOM indicates a deep concern regarding the quality of graduates in terms of their employability, research abilities, conceptual clarity and practical exposure of graduates. There are many challenges our Engineering Institutes are facing and this need to be attended to. With this objective in mind a study of three Universities in Singapore is presented namely National university of Singapore ,Nanyang Techlogical University & Nanyang Polytechnic which the author recently visited.

1. Engineering Education in USA, Singapore and India

When we compare the Engineering Education (EE) in three countries in terms of numbers, engineering graduates passing out are highest in India, followed by USA (almost 1/8th) and then Singapore. The focus of EE in USA and Singapore is on interaction with Industries, Industry based live projects, Industry Chair, research centre in collaboration with Industry, Incubation Centers etc.

Curriculum is focused on hands on learning with Mini projects from first year onwards for developing innovative and creative mindset in students. There is provision for field training, giving global exposure to students with credits weight-age(the students actually spend 3 months in a different country and carry out some relevant study based project). Entrepreneurship is given special one subject weight age in curriculum. We could see proper blend of Humanities based subjects in the curriculum with an objective of creating engineers sensitive to the needs of society.

Other common features are Faculty development centers and English language learning centers for both Faculty and Students. We could also see open study spaces for students to promote self and group learning.

1.2Current Scenario, Quality issues

Indian Engineers have earned a name for themselves all over the world. We could meet a large number of Indian professors in US universities as well as in Singapore Universities. Professors are highly respected as research flows from university to industry, highly paid jobs, special status for research professors to carry out research, in some places scientists are appointed to lead special research projects. PG level students are involved in the projects wherein they get an opportunity to learn on real life 1

applications. We now need to rethink about the EE in India in the global context with the sudden expansion of EE and the related issues of Quality of education imparted in these new institutes. There is National Board of Accreditation (NBA) , norms of AICTE etc. But merely adhering to the norms will not ensure quality of graduate engineers. The Institutes need to work beyond norms to inculcate academic ambience in terms of academics, research, industry institute interaction etc. India is also thinking of signing Washington...
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