UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Industry sponsored student projects : in search of conditions of responsiveness between technological education and industry to address the increase in the rate of technological change Wilmink, Ernst Willem


The increasing rate of technological change is forcing educational institutions to adapt in its ways and means of curriculum development to remain in a viable position to prepare job ready graduates. In order to accomplish this task, the literature points out that a closer association with business and industry is required for educational institutions to respond to the technological changes as they occur in rapid succession. This problem was addressed in the School of Engineering Technology at the British Columbia Institute of Technology by introducing cash awards for students producing exemplary industry sponsored student projects in their graduating term. These projects were based on requests from industry with the intent to solve realworld problems. Students in more than 30 specialized fields of technology carried out these applied research projects to produce a tangible product of value to industry. This innovation was examined over three years (1990-93) to study the results of a closer association with the continuous advancement of technology in industry. The conditions for the required response to the needs of industry as a result were found in an increase in industry sponsored student projects, direct involvement of faculty in technological change, and the opportunity of direct input from industry to curriculum change. As such, a functional relationship was established to allow for curriculum to respond to technological change on an ongoing basis.

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