Reflection on the Higher Engineering Education in China Based on Engineering Education Reform at North China University of Technology

Article excerpt

[Abstract]

Science and technology are developing rapidly and the industrial structure is being reconstructed under the globalization. During the process of University education popularization in China, its engineering education should be adjusted to adapt the development of science and technology during China economic and social transitional period and in the global economy. This is because the university engineering education will ensure the progress of science and technical innovation and promote the academic researches and develop of engineering sciences. This article examines the higher engineering education in China based on engineering education reform at North China University of Technology. By analyzing the current situation and issues in the higher engineering education in China, the authors recommend their suggestion that will assist with the reformation of higher engineering education.

[Keywords] Engineering education, China; reformation; engineering curricula

Introduction

Engineering curricula is the core of engineering education. Due to the different educational focus or purposes, each university that has engineering programs establishes its curriculum in various levels, some focus on engineering science and some focus on engineering technology. Such situation is ubiquitous in both China and other countries. Generally, research universities focus on education of advanced engineering science and theories and the graduates from such universities complete their practices and adaptability in the companies or enterprises; educational universities normally focus on the engineering application technology but the practical training and job adaptability are diversified.

In China, most of the enterprises or companies accept graduates who are ready to do the their jobs right out of school except that a few of the state enterprises (e.g. Bao Steel Group Co., Ltd) that require the applicants to have training and years of experiences. Obviously, the requirements for students majoring in engineering have been formed by the job market of China. However, most of the universities have not managed to meet the requirements so far. Universities of the same kind in Germany set a good example in improving the practical capability of the students by extending the length of education. Training of engineers shall be completed in the universities; practical training during the university studies has been emphasized; and the enterprises participate in the training for the students.

Some of the universities in USA have begun to adopt the authentication standard of engineering students and integrated the engineering education with qualification authentication of professional engineers and the registration approach. Some of the top universities in the world are trying to focus on integration, practice and synthesis of engineering instead of emphasis on engineering science only. As the catchword "back to engineering" implies, engineering education should aim at the practical training of specialized fields, including manufacturing, designing, engineering management etc. In a word, it has become a global trend to focus on engineering capability training.

Engineering Education in China

Engineering education in China used to be the integration of talent education and specialized education and the specialties are set in detail according to the industries. Before 1987, the engineering majors were basically classified by industries in China and the classification was very detailed. Students' job positions and the employers they work for after graduation have been decided as soon as they enter the university, a system that practices of planned enrollment and job assignments. The country each year will decide how many graduates will be need and sent to each industry such as chemical machinery, metallurgical machinery, and metallurgical automation and so on. All the curricula were designed based on related detailed industrial knowledge and technology as well as the need. …