EDUCATING THE ENERGY ENGINEERS OF TOMORROW – CHALLENGES OF INTERNATIONALISATION AND KNOWLEDGE INTERCHANGE

M. Petrov, M. Salomon Popa, T. Fransson

Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) (SWEDEN)
The paper summarises the authors’ own teaching experience from a large international MSc-level educational programme in Sustainable Energy Engineering, organized by the Department of Energy Technology at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, and running since 1998, as well as from several recently started EU-supported international MSc educational programmes.
Some important challenges and obstacles to effective learning are presented and discussed, addressing especially the negative outcomes for the students and the effect on student performance. Observations have been made throughout several years of increasing demand for energy- and sustainability-related knowledge by ever larger student groups. The growing number of international students and the fact that many students are aiming at diversifying their abilities by specialising in energy engineering without having the necessary background, as well as many students following certain non-engineering programmes focusing on environmental or sustainability issues need nevertheless to study also purely engineering-related courses, brings many positive characteristics to the blended student team but also displays certain hinders to the practical optimisation of the learning activities, the speed of advancement in knowledge, and the general quality of education.
Possible improvements and augmentations as solutions to these challenges on a programme level and course level are proposed and subjected to testing in recent student batches. The expected results in terms of improved student performance, and the plausible further extension of this work, are introduced and analysed.