From theory to application and back again: the interplay between research in higher education and engineering education

4th November 2021 : 14:00 - 15:00

Category: Webinar

Speaker: Jenni Case, Virginia Tech & University of Cape Town; Mike Klassen, University of Toronto; David Knight, Virginia Tech; Xiaofeng Denver Tang, Tsinghua University; Nicky Wolmarans, University of Cape Town

Location: Zoom webinar, registration required

Audience: Public

This webinar brings together a panel of higher education scholars who focus on engineering education across a range of global contexts, to identify what value or interest might be offered by engaging with the findings of discipline-based education research for the broader higher education research community.

All four researchers take broad questions and theories from higher education and bring these to bear on a range of key issues in engineering education. Four engineering education research studies form the backdrop for this conversation: a global comparison of accreditation systems, a cross-national policy comparison, an exploration of how disciplinary knowledge functions in the real world, and an analysis of systems of transfer across institutions. We find that engineering education as a case has particular features that allow for the emergence of empirical insights, methodological adaptations, and challenges to established theory.

These include its global systems for accreditation that nonetheless incorporate significant national variation, its significance in national policy particularly in relation to economic development and national security, its interesting location as a newer profession partly based on a tightly defined scientific knowledge base, and its contemporary recruitment to matters of social justice in the context of broadening access to higher education. More broadly, the webinar makes the case for grounding general theories and debates from higher education in the particulars of one specific professional field.

This webinar is part of the free public seminar programme hosted by the Centre for Global Higher Education (CGHE).