ENTREPRENEURIAL ENGINEERING EXPERIENCES FOR BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN UNIVERSITY COLLEGE AND INDUSTRY

I. Ilsbroux

Groep T Leuven Engineering College (BELGIUM)
GROUP T – Leuven Engineering College is an innovative and international university college for engineering education in Flanders (Belgium). Since the academic year 2008-2009 GROUP T designed a pilot project (with the permission of the Ministry of Education) for the two year path of the master. The content of the official one-year master program (60 ECTS credits) is maintained and supplemented with the Postgraduate Program in Entrepreneurial Engineering Experience of 60 ECTS credits. The core of this program is a one year internship in collaboration with industry (the Entrepreneurial Engineering Experience, EEE; 40 credits) in collaboration with different companies and research institutes. The two year program prides itself in providing students with not just engineering, entrepreneurial and innovation compentencies but also with opportunities for career and personal development.

Students make their personal competences profile at the onset, do a SWOT-analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) to get personal insight. Consequently, they design their personal development plan with well selected actions and learning activities. At the end students make a new profile and reflect on their progress in competences. The complete process is coached by a Human Resources Manager from industry.

Within the competence profile the following competency domains are distinguished: intellectual competences, research competences, entrepreneurial and innovation competences, self-management competences, personality-related competences.

The paper and presentation will give an answer to two questions:
1. To which extend are students motivated to develop entrepreneurial and innovation competencies, among others?
2. What is the ideal concept of an Entrepreneurial Engineering Experiences for bridging the gap between University College and Industry?