IMPACT ANALYSIS OF THE PRIOR STUDIES IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF COMPETENCES IN THE ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING DEGREE UNDER THE EUROPEAN HIGHER EDUCATION AREA FRAMEWORK

M. de Simón-Martín, M.I. González-Alonso

University of León (SPAIN)
The development of the appropriate competences results a key factor in the European Higher Education Area Framework. Technical, methodological and behavioural competences are currently in the spotlight for the design and evaluation of Engineering Degree studies. In this work, the authors analyse in deep the academic profiles and the competences training and acquisition at the Secundary Education in Spain (Baccalaureate and Upper Vocational Training) and correlate them with the acquired competences in the Electrical Engineering Degree. As case study, the Electrical Engineering Degree from the University of León (Spain) has been selected.

To access to Universitary Education in Spain there exist two main ways: Baccalaureate studies or Upper Vocational Training programs (UVT). Students' profiles from Baccalaureate differ significantly from those who access University from UVT. On the one hand, Baccalaurate students are expected to show strengths in theoretical resolution of problems and memorizing skills. On the other hand, UVT graduates are expected to manage themselves significantly better with practical tasks at laboratories and to have developed better decision-making skills. However, both theoretical and practical skills and competences are required to succeed in the Electrical Engineering conducting studies and are needed to become a good professional, which is the ulmost aim of the Higher Education.

A novel test to evaluate developed competences in undergraduates is proposed. It has been drawn up in such a way the student not only self-evaluates his competence level but also has to show evidence of his real level of acquisition.

Preliminary results from a sample of undergraduates from 2013 to 2015 are exposed and, according to them, some proposals to the Secundary Education programs are stated to reinforce the competences acquisition of students from Baccalaureate and Upper Vocational Training programs. Results can be extended to other Degrees, specially those related to Engineering.