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Restructuring an electrical engineering program in Quito, Ecuador

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1 Author(s)
Canizares, C.A. ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Waterloo Univ., Ont.

The Department of Electrical Engineering at the Escuela Politecnica Nacional, in Quito, Ecuador, has undertaken the task that started two years ago, of bringing engineering education into the next century in a very limited environment. The problems to be faced are first described, starting from dealing with a severe shortage of funding and resources due to lack of interest by government and industry, to having to work with students with large amounts of knowledge of physics and mathematics, but with very little creativity due to all their educational background. A new curricula is discussed, where there is a special emphasis on reducing student course load, bringing together classes and lab work, fully integrating a variety of new computational tools to the teaching-learning process, and giving students more freedom to choose from a diversity of specialized fields. The new Department structure is also presented, eliminating the current departmentalized organization based on three major electrical engineering fields, i.e., power systems, control, and communications. The issue of lack of funding is finally addressed, as are some of the creative ways that are being used to solve this problem

Published in:

Education, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:39 ,  Issue: 1 )