International Conference on Engineering Education for Sustainable Development (EESD) (7th : 2015)

What do programme chairs think about the integration of SD in their programmes? Nicolaou, Iacovos; Conlon, Eddie


This paper presents the findings of interviews with six engineering programme chairs regarding their views about the level of integration of SD in their programmes. They are part of a wider study which is examining the integration of SD in engineering programmes across three Irish Higher Education Institutions. Previous stages of the study have determined that students’ knowledge and understanding about SD is inadequate due to the lack of a holistic integration of SD competencies and the focus on skills development in their programmes. The paper will explore the apparent contradiction in that most programme chairs believe that SD is integrated into their programmes despite the evidence from the previous stages of this project which suggest it is not. This contradiction can only be resolved by an exploration of their understanding of SD and their philosophy of engineering education. We conclude that they believe SD is fully integrated because they have a narrow understanding of SD and a “traditional” approach to engineering focused on the development of core engineering competencies.

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