The Indian Chapter of the Global Engineering Deans Council (GEDC) will come into existence from Saturday, according to N.R. Shetty, president of Indian Society for Technical Education (ISTE).

He told the inaugural session of the ISTE’s annual convention here on Friday at the National Institute of Technology Karnataka (NIT-K) that heads of engineering institutions could become members of the GEDC and get exposure to international activities in their respective specialisations and ensure participation of their institutions in international student exchange programmes. The Indian Chapter could help institutions to rise to global standards.

Conceived and founded by IFEES (International Federation of Engineering Education Studies) in 2008, the GEDC has the vision “to enhance the capabilities of engineering deans to transform their schools in support of their societies in a globalised world”. It has members from at least 30 countries.

Prof. Shetty said the ISTE will launch a website to host live lectures, promote professional networking for the fraternity and enable ISTE members to adopt innovative methods. Prof. Shetty also called for greater mutually beneficial industry-institution link up to achieve common goals. He asked technology institutions to balance teaching and research focussing on the real-world problems thereby becoming relevant to society.

Leuny Morrel, president of IFEES and Director, Engineering Education Innovation Laboratories of Hewlett Packard, USA, said there was a mismatch between the industry needs and the kind of graduates produced by engineering institutions. Innovation has to become a culture and institutions need to develop such culture and sustain it.

Innovations are reaching people far more quickly than before and engineering profession was more demanding. The focus has to be shifted from teaching to learning. If students are not learning it is the fault of the faculty of the institutions and not the other way round.

Hence the system has to change, she said. Engineering professionals need to respond to the needs of society, involve the stakeholders and share the results of their work with stakeholders.

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