Dear Professor Aung
It was my first ICEE experience, and am grateful to the organisers for the opportunity to participate in this truly international forum on Engineering Education (EE).
It is difficult to know where to begin - because all I want to say is that ICEE2000 was impressive, useful and enjoyable for me in every way:
Now, let me be specific and answer in detail points you raised.
(1) Your impressions on ICEE-2000, its positive attributes and areas for improvement for future conferences.
I found the conference an excellent forum for exchange of ideas and networking as well as the source of information on current matters affecting engineering education world wide.
I think you will agree that, in view of what I said previously, there is very little room for further improvement. But, as I only got to hear of it by chance (through my association with the Australasian Association for Engineering Education -AAEE) - perhaps there was not enough publicity (in Australia !).
I wish that the transcript of keynote speakers addresses was made available. Even to purchase it in the cassette format, if organising hard copies would have been difficult. Perhaps such presentations should have been videotaped and cassettes made available (at cost !).There was so much wisdom there of archival quality !!
Perhaps issue of daily bulletins outlining highlights and providing information and updates would have been useful to ensure wider communication. Perhaps a group of the local IT, PR or HR students could be enthused to provide the necessary help with such a venture in future.
Overall, ICEE2000 has set a high standard in every way that should be followed by all future conferences.
(2) Your feedback on how the international engineering education community can cooperate more broadly in education (as opposed to research), with special reference to the language barriers, other than the usual exchange of students and faculty.
(a) This is an important issue, and indeed within the context of the conference, least of all because of the globalisation of all human endeavours. Most countries have, or should have, national forums for addressing Engineering Education (EE) issues. Linking of such forums would provide a very strong international body that can effectively address EE issues right down to the grass root levels. Sharing resources wherever possible should be addressed, as well as identification of common problems and ways of solving them. Facilitation of courses/programs articulation should be promoted and thereby made easier. More such activities ought to be promoted on regional basis in the first instance.
(b) A way to implement this is to establish and maintain contact with national EE bodies by ensuring their representative involvement with and within the ICEE activities and IREE. Perhaps an annual fee should be imposed to provide funds for this. Specific international projects could be funded jointly through national funding bodies of participating countries. Language barrier is a problem which could be tackled on experimental basis with language translation software programs. This problem is being tackled by some countries (eg Germany) by promoting, on academic level, contact with English speaking countries. Modules in Engineering Fundamentals perhaps ought to be tried first. This should include a subject on Behaviour, Communication & Ethics at the Workplace. However, the advantage of English as a common language amongst participating nations (eg USA, UK, Australia, NZ, India, South Africa) should also be fully explored. Development of joint courses and programs, interaction with accreditation bodies should help provide appropriately high and uniform standards that should further enhance articulation of courses, as well as faculty and student exchange.
(3) Your feedback on how we can make distance education a more effective tool in the international community. Again, should there be some test cases funded?
(a) Distance education falls within the general scope of EE and hence is of relevance within the context of ICEE. It is an important issue because not all students can study by physically attending universities - especially at the professional development (PD) level, including postgraduate studies.
(b) Coordination with professional accreditation bodies is essential, especially in respect of the PD aspect of distance education. Specifically, members and office bearers of such bodies should be approached for initiating joint effort in this area. Their active participation in ICEE activities should also be encouraged and sought. Involvement of appropriate academics at universities is also essential. On reflection - it all amounts to a well coordinated PR effort for greater participation in ICEE activities !!! Maybe there ought to be a committee established to tackle this important problem and recommend the Executuve Committee how to implement action.
(4) Your feedback on the iNEER test website
(a) Aesthetically speaking, the site is not overdone: in fact, it has an air of modesty about it. It is informative and well written and useful. Perhaps it should contain links to transcripts of keynote speakers and illustrations (with captions !).
(b) Its utility could be enhanced by providing email addresses of INEER office bearers, as well as links to participating entities. Office bearers should collate items of interest from within their domains for posting on the INEER website. Others should be encouraged to participate. Any collaborative activities achieved through INEER should be well publicized.
(5) Your input on other cross-cutting issues that need follow up by INEER/ICEE as a result of ICEE-2000.
Establishment of regional activities' centres should be encouraged to help carry on the momentum following an ICEE held locally.
Establishment of a vehicle for ideas transmission as well publicizing archival papers, something of the type of the current International Journal of Engineering Education, but in the web format, and perhaps a part of the INEER website.
I hope you find my comments useful.
College of Science, Technology & Environment
University of Western Sydney
Sydney 2747 Australia
Return to FEEDBACK ON ICEE-2000