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UNIVERSITY AND INDUSTRY COOPERATION: A CASE STUDY IN ETSI SEVILLA

A. Escudero, J. Guadix, J. Muñuzuri, M. Rodríguez

University of Seville (SPAIN)
In the framework of engineering studies, there appear a series of subjects related to business which make it clear that formative plans are aware of the importance of acquiring competences regarding organization and management on the part of the students; as well as fostering start-up business so as to ease the incorporation of the students to the labour world.

Nevertheless, many students do not find this learning necessary and take up the mentioned subjects with an evident lack of motivation (as concluded by initial surveys). Together with this particular analysis of the University studies on engineering applied to business, there exist other general circumstances (extracted from co-ordination meetings among the different lectures and professors) which show a lack of autonomy in the student.

For all the reasons mentioned above, it is necessary for this kind of subjects to introduce a teaching-learning methodology which can accomplish two different objectives. It must motivate the student in a business and financial culture by bringing business reality into the classroom and using more practical methods. Besides, it must foster autonomy in the student and his/her own learning process.

Taking for sure that fostering motivation in the students is the teacher’s function, a group of lectures and professors of the School of Engineering of the University of Seville (ETSI Seville) have been developing a series of initiatives of teaching innovation which bring business reality into the classroom and which develop a simulation of business creation with the students.

The project which was carried out had two aspects:
a) The participation of students in colloquia, debates and conferences, where university and industry are integrated in the contents of the different lectures and the enterpreneurial spirit is reinforced.
b) The proposal of a complementary evaluation method that includes a simulation of creation, organization and business management, so that students could adapt the contents worked in the classroom to the fictitious business.

The results of the two different aspects of the project have been satisfactory for both, implied teachers and students, as evidenced by the surveys and the qualifications.