Entrepreneurship in the Engineering Curriculum: Some Initial Results of PUC-Rios Experiment.Report as inadecuate

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The ideal of the entrepreneurial spirit has played a key role in shaping the current reform of engineering education at the Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio). The previous paradigm of a science-based conceptual engineer has given place to what may be termed a science-based entrepreneurial engineer. This paper discusses this transition, focusing on the main concepts, strategies and tactics of change, as well as some important initial results achieved in the intended direction. Introducing the entrepreneurial dimension in the training of engineers is akin to venturing onto uncharted waters. While several business schools have achieved some experience in this field, the same cannot be said of engineering schools, most notably in Brazilian Universities. To engineering schools in the context of a research university, the focus on entrepreneurship has a special strategic significance. On the one hand, it reflects a growing perception that their new graduates need the technical and behavioral attributes and skills of the entrepreneur for a successful professional life. Such a perception can easily be inferred from the current demands and opportunities of the job market. On the other hand, such a focus also reflects schools' awareness of a much-needed change in their institutional culture. This cultural change of research universities is needed to comply with growing social demands for more tangible benefits from university research. As universities meet this demand through a heightened entrepreneurial outlook, they will be in a better position to comply with students' and society's request that they practice what they teach. With proper guidance, the entrepreneurial vision leads to investment in a set of complementary assets that enhance universities' ability to respond to societal demands and to offer students vital elements for enduring professional and personal development. At PUC-Rio, an experiment is underway for the introduction and dissemination of entrepreneurial culture through several institutional means, including the engineering curriculum. The driving force is the newly created Genesis Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which is also responsible for the production and management of the complementary assets required by this endeavor. This experiment is detailed in the paper, together with its results. (ASK)

Descriptors: Diversity (Institutional), Educational Change, Engineering Education, Entrepreneurship, Foreign Countries, Higher Education, Natural Sciences, Professional Development

Author: Aranha, Jose Alberto S.; Pimenta-Bueno, J. A.; Scavarda do Carmo, Luiz Carlos; da Silveira, Marcos A.

Source: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=7546&id=ED454032

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