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Project background
Development Awareness Fund, DFID
18 months of research, workshops and dialogue
Identify drivers, barriers, case studies and
Promote collaboration and partnership
Draw out wider lessons
Provoke and inform wider debate
The Global Engineer
• Why global issues are critical to
engineering education
• What global skills look like and
the alignment between different initiatives
• How the global dimension can be
embedded: looking at examples of current
Global Dimension of Engineering
Convergence of crises: Ring road issues
• Climate change
• Poverty
• Globalisation
Growth in developing countries
Huge investment ($10-20 trillion) in oil, gas
and mining over next 20-30 years much in
poverty and conflict prone regions
Over $600bn projected expenditure over the
next 10 years in Africa alone.
Growth in developing countries
Expansion in infrastructure investment esp.
slum upgrading and urban infrastructure
In 2005 the G8 nations pledged $150bn
additional aid for African infrastructure in the
next 10 years.
By 2015 it is estimated that 80% of new
infrastructure will be in developing countries
Growth in developing countries
Enterprise solutions to poverty incl. ‘base of
the pyramid’, fair trade and social enterprise.
Opportunities from emerging computing,
energy, nano and bio-science technologies.
Opportunities from adaptation and mitigation
of climate change and sustainability
Lens to view the global dimension
A futures perspective
A business perspective
A critical perspective
A systems perspective
A futures perspective
“At no point in our whole history has the speed and scale of
technological change been so fast and pervasive.”
Gordon Brown at the TUC conference 2005
Unprecedented global challenges and opportunities.
Interdependency and convergence of issues.
Increasing speed of change.
High degree of complexity and uncertainty.
Key role of science, engineering, technology and innovation
(SETI) driving forward and adapting to change.
A business perspective
‘UK engineering degree courses must recognise the changing
requirements of industry’.
RAEng 2007
Importance of business, enterprise & innovation skills
Interest in CSR and social enterprises
Global skills debate
Case study: Red button design
A critical perspective
Challenge assumptions
Value diverse perspectives
Value local knowledge
Political and social dimension
Open Space for Dialogue and Exchange
A systems perspective
Systems engineering and whole life analysis
Interconnection and relationships
Complexity and uncertainty
Holistic thinking
Places engineering in wider context (STEEP)
Applies to natural and human systems
MSc Holistic Science, Plymouth University
How UK engineering academics
perceive the global dimension to
• The ability to take a broader perspective
• Application of curriculum across countries
• An appreciation of what we do in developing
countries impact upon ourselves.
• Understanding our culture doesn’t have all the
answers and there is more than one perspective
and approach.
• Understanding the local context of development
UK academic views continued
• Coping with uncertainty
• Dealing with global issues doesn’t necessarily
mean going to developing countries
• Challenging stereotypes
• Recognition of finite resources in the world
and the impact of globalisation
• Potential role of different technologies
• Mitigating and adapting to climate change
Policy Drivers
• UK government education policies on
internationalisation and sustainable
• DFID strategy on Building Support for
• Up-skilling UK workforce
Employer Drivers
• Growing number of employers want
employees who can practice and promote
• Need not only for specialist knowledge but
well rounded, positive and socially engaged
• Cultural sensitivity
• Critical thinkers
Student Drivers
• Global nature of student body
• Evidence suggests students are
motivated to engage in global issues
• Importance of Engineers Without
Perspectives and Approaches
• Concern for the future
• Critical thinking
• Seeing things holistically and in a
systematic way
Global Skills
• Bringing together range of initiatives, agendas
and needs from sustainability to corporate social
responsibility, ethical questions to enterprise and
community cohesion
• Multi-disciplinarity
• Ability to deal with complexity, uncertainty and
• Dealing with a culturally diverse workforce
• Team working and creative thinking
Importance of International
• Role of engineering within achieving MDGs
• Key profession in building support for
development within higher education
• Linkage between higher education and business
Key barriers and constraints and
how can these be overcome?
Limited space in curriculum
Limited staff time, skills, knowledge and capacity
Funding constraints
Research focus
Importance of senior management support
Towards a five stage framework for
embedding the global dimension
Stage 1: Mapping the Global
Professional skills
Business and
enterprise skills
Stage 2: Map against the UK-SPEC
Map how the global dimension supports UK
SPEC learning outcomes
Creativity and innovation
Sustainable development
Transferable skills
Fit for purpose
Practical experience
Stage 3: Opportunities to embed
the global dimension
Embed within curriculum
Through partnerships
Extra-curricular learning
University wide strategy
Inter-university, national and international
Stages 4 and 5:
Cohesion and Evaluation
Link course components into a cohesive whole
Cross–cutting themes flow through course
Pilot, monitor and evaluate
Value and invest in on-going learning and adaptation
Case studies
Over 60 examples of current practice incl. modules,
design projects, UK and overseas volunteering,
placements, partnerships, education centres, etc.
Michael Clifford, Appropriate Technology, Nottingham
Centre for Sustainable Development, Cambridge
Envision 2010, Imperial
CDIO (Conceive, Design, Implement and Operate)
• Grounds for optimism but not complacency
• Place the global dimension at the heart of
engineering education
• Place poverty reduction at the heart of the global
• Invest in professional development and curriculum
review and development
• Reward teaching excellence
• Strong coherent leadership from govt., industry
and professional bodies
Selected recommendations
HEIs to review current provision
Bring agendas together
Partner with business and NGOs
Collaborate internationally
Invest in professional development
Embed in strategy
DIUS and DFID: Joint policies and support
Further research
Potential future work
• Presentation to Joint Board of Moderators
June 20
• Seminar for DERN, Galway
• Discussion with Imperial Envision 2010,
Cambridge CSD and CPI
• Masters in ‘Sustainable Engineering’
• Practical Action, ECUK, ESC and EPC on
prof. development and curriculum review
• ‘Dragon’s Den’ showcasing appropriate tech.
• Work based learning Masters in Prof. Eng