INTEGRATION OF INNOVATION, RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY IN HIGHER ENGINEERING EDUCATION
The European Union (EU) is lagging behind the USA in all dimensions of competitiveness, research and technological development (RTD) and education expenditures as well. The gap is still significant, with the EU standing at about 70% of the performance of the USA. The quantitative target for 2020 is that Europe should achieve a total spends of 5% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on combined investments in RTD and higher education. This will include investment both at Member States and EU levels. This roadmap addresses three levels of reforms relating to higher education, RTD and innovation. The authors of this paper say: "A higher engineering education institution is competitive if the majority of its graduates are bestsellers or of world class category in the intellectual world of engineering work." Competitive institutions need graduates who have the capability to create innovation ideas which is a specific process as the first phase of the innovation management. The link between Universities teaching engineering and the communities must be vivid and efficient. The first step must be taken by Universities to establish closer connection to communities in order to disseminate their achievements being useful and interesting to people. Capability of students for success in innovation and RTD the following actions are envisaged: participation in joint research projects with enterprises and Universities, talented students can join National Scientific Student Club activity while preparing individual project work thesis, working both on project in the last semester and during their study period while showing their innovation attitude. Many employers look for a range of skills in new graduates. These may be classified as knowledge skills, thinking skills, personal attributes and practical skills. The University of Miskolc and the Departments of Engineering are providing the technical and intellectual environment with the initiation and erection of close links with over 300 industry/business partners, hosting international scientific conferences like microCAD each year with the objective to present achievements in each discipline with the application of computing science and practice. PhD students conference biannually, participation by academic staff in various international scientific technology and engineering education conferences develop the graduates output. Research Laboratories/Institutes in various engineering fields attached to the University are to improve the student’s capability in innovation and RTD as well. The department’s staff trains the students both for the multinational global industries and for the small and medium-sized industries as well. Each year the University academic and research staff is participating in the "Researchers Night" programme organised each year in September. Higher engineering education can be viewed as a closed loop system where the input, the conversion block as knowledge and technology transfer and the output symbolising the qualified graduate facilitates the implementation of progress in innovation, research and technology for higher engineering education. The new teaching methods and teaching materials based on interactivity will speed up the endeavours in this important target. The European dimension is strengthened and enlarged by European Commission projects, among others a new Jean Monnet programme between 2009 and 2012 and run by the authors.