August 1, 2002
Carnegie Mellon and nine other leading technical schools in Europe and the United States have released a survey that identifies key features of successful engineering education. Entitled "Successful Practices in International Engineering Education," the survey includes interviews with more than 1,000 professors, company managers and graduate engineers with five to 10 years of work experience.
At Carnegie Mellon, the survey revealed that both female enrollment and retention of engineering students, in general, increased because of a more flexible engineering curriculum. The number of women enrolled at Carnegie Mellon for engineering rose to 22 percent in 2002. Because of Carnegie Mellon's flexible engineering program, including a new introduction to engineering course, 90 percent of the students who entered engineering in 2001 remained in the program, compared with only 70 percent prior to 1990.
The 296-page study showed that most European universities have stronger ties to industry sectors and promote a curriculum focused on an international educational experience. By contrast, U.S.-based universities place more emphasis on specialized courses, including cross-disciplinary and team-based projects.