European project semester: 30 ECTS of PBL in sustainability with multicultural and multidisciplinary bachelor students groups
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Since 1991, the Technical University of Catalonia has focussed on introducing Sustainability education in all its engineering and architectural programmes through two environmental plans (1996-2000, 2000-2005), and currently through the UPC Sustainable 2015  plan. Under this framework, the School of Engineering of Vilanova i la Geltrú (EPSEVG) has designed and coordinated the European Project Semester (EPS), an innovative learning programme which responds to the challenges of society and the European Higher Education Area. EPS trains engineering students by applying Project Based Learning in intercultural and multidisciplinary groups. The working language is English and the programme is designed for 1st cycle (Bachelor) degrees. The EPS programme offered at the EPSEVG emphasises the introduction of competences in sustainability  and human technology. The main objective of the EPS is to improve the learning outcomes and competences of engineering students in relation to communication and teamwork skills, the ability to work in intercultural settings, and the ability to work in real multidisciplinary projects with students from different degree backgrounds. The EPS is divided into seminars (worth 10 ECTS) and a project (worth 20 ECTS). The seminars include courses in Sustainable Technologies, Business and Sustainability and Human Technology, among others. The projects are proposed by local companies and research groups. Since 2008 the number of participants has increased from 9 in 2008 to 30 in 2011. The students, who have participated in 15 projects, have come from 16 different European and North American universities and from over 18 different academic disciplines. This paper shows the design methodology used in the EPS programme its structure and the sustainability competences achieved by the students.
CitacióSegalas, J.; Esbrí, M.; Benson, P. European project semester: 30 ECTS of PBL in sustainability with multicultural and multidisciplinary bachelor students groups. A: International Conference in Engineering Education. "Engineering Sustainability for a Global Economy". Belfast: 2011, p. 1-9.