BUILDING A SUCCESSFUL TRANSATLANTIC COLLABORATION IN ENGINEERING/TECHNOLOGICAL EDUCATION. LESSONS FROM A SIX YEAR JOURNEY

McHale, D. and McGrath, M. and Lawlor, J. (2010) BUILDING A SUCCESSFUL TRANSATLANTIC COLLABORATION IN ENGINEERING/TECHNOLOGICAL EDUCATION. LESSONS FROM A SIX YEAR JOURNEY. [Conference Proceedings]

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Abstract

In a progressively more interconnected world, contemporary third level students recognise the modern necessity to learn to operate effectively in different cultural contexts. Moreover, employers clearly value graduates who demonstrate the ability to operate successfully in international contexts. Hence, students want their educational institution to push beyond the boundaries of the traditional lecture theatre and lab-to look outward and create a range of relevant educational engagement and delivery models which are truly international and embrace a global perspective. For European third level educational institutions intent on responding to such imperatives, the practical initiation, development and sustenance of along-term multi-faceted trans-Atlantic educational partnerships is not a trivial undertaking. Such a collaborative endeavour provides a multitude of strategic organisational, cultural, educational, financial and process development challenges. However, since many of the challenges are broadly common to all institutions, much useful knowledge can be usefully gleaned from the experience of those transatlantic partners who have travelled successfully and further on a partnership journey already. In this context, this paper reflects on key learning's from the first six-years (2004-2010) of the development of a collaborative journey of two trans-Atlantic higher-educational institutions. It describes the progress towards building a sustainable and innovative international educational partnership in Engineering/Technological education between the Dublin Institute of Technology, Dublin Ireland and Purdue University, Indiana, USA. In particular, the paper provides insight into the iterative stages of development of this relationship. It reflects on some of the key challenges and it recognises the critical enablers of success. It focuses on challenges and solutions in the following six important areas: (i) The partnership initiation stage. Key considerations and important enablers of future success (ii) Building early quick win momentum in a partnership (iii) Full-semester undergraduate exchange. Key educational and logistical challenges and solutions (iv) Creating post-graduate opportunities. (v) Quality assurance and standards considerations in international collaboration (vi) Project sustainability and continuous improvement This collaborative journey has taken these partners from no relationship to a situation today where they have an active, multi-faceted partnership involving both education and research; a partnership whose activities are supported by a educational budget of more than (sic)880K to date. Currently, the educational component of this partnership includes an active full semester accredited exchange for European and US undergraduates, a Dual Masters degree for post-graduate students and now a burgeoning research collaboration also. The paper is relevant to any European third level educational organisation focused on building a long-term sustainable transatlantic partnership.

Item Type: Conference Proceedings
Additional Information: McHale, Donal McGrath, Mark Lawlor, John; INTED 2010; Proceedings Paper
Depositing User: National Forum
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2015 21:55
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2015 08:25
URI: http://eprints.teachingandlearning.ie/id/eprint/2976

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