QUESTE-SI – Quality System of Science and Technology Universities for Sustainable Industry
QUESTE-SI is a project funded with support of the Lifelong Learning Programme (ERASMUS) of the European Union.
QUESTE-SI is a quality assurance system, which supports quality improvement of sustainable development education in Higher Engineering Education Institutions. Sustainable development education means the integration of dimensions that are beyond purely scientific and technical aspects. These additional dimensions include in particular economical, social and environmental elements.
QUESTE-SI is awarded to institutional units, after a process consisting of a self-assessment, an optional phase of guided self-development and an audit visit by a team of specially trained experts.
The QUESTE-SI award covers four dimensions:
- Education and Curriculum
- Students’ Involvement
- Research and Innovation
QUESTE-SI Awarded Institutional Units
|Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien)|
|Cyprus University of Technology|
|Brno University of Technology
|Czech Technical University in Prague (CVUT)|
|European University – Republic of Macedonia (EURM)|
|Riga Technical University (RTU)|
|Kaunas University of Technology (KTU)|
|Wroclaw University of Technology (WUT)
|Instituto Superior Técnico (IST)
|KTH Royal Institute of Technology|
The QUESTE-SI Dimensions
QUESTE-SI believes that attention should be given to the presence and realisation of strategies devoted to sustainable development at institutional and departmental level. There should be an active view of social responsibility and sustainability at the policy-making level of educational institutions. It means that a well-defined short, middle and long-term strategy for sustainability in the institution should be present.
Last but not least, identification of new skills and occupational profiles should be translated into education, training, continuing professional education, and job requirements. This is a collaborative task for leaders and planners at the school, department, and programme level, in cooperation with employers.
Education and Curriculum
A strategy for sustainable development education should recognise the comparative impact of current pedagogy and new methodologies. It should acknowledge that tomorrow’s engineers will need new “transverse” skills such as crisis communication and management, policy analysis and formulation, interdisciplinary approaches to problem solving, but above all, a broader view of problems, their causes, consequences, and solutions.
Thus, a key point when defining and evaluating learning objectives is whether they include the ability to anticipate the consequences of decisions and to act appropriately (a proactive rather than reactive approach).
The point here is active students’ involvement in the culture of social responsibility and sustainability. The institution and departments should encourage or support students’ activities that go beyond the formal curriculum. Extracurricular activities may complement efforts to foster a broader awareness and vision of needs, problems, and the potential effect of decisions and actions. Such activities may be fulfilled in national, regional, or community agencies, NGOs, and volunteer organisations. Some activities may complement the curriculum as sources of information and experience, and may extend the use of problem-led or project-based learning techniques.
Research and Innovation
In the Research and Innovation dimension there should be a strategic direction for institutional and faculty choices of topics related to sustainability. This contemplates cooperation with industry, enterprises, peer institutions, and research agencies, institutions, and organisations. QUESTE-SI evaluators look for evidence that research and development activities also serve to enrich the curriculum, teaching, and learning.
The QUESTE-SI award
The QUESTE-SI award is conferred by an Awarding Body on the basis of self-evaluation reports, prepared by the institutions, and a report and recommendations, developed by an audit team after an audit visit. Each of the dimensions is given a rating. This rating goes from one to four squares and is intended to reflect the level of quality reached by the institutional unit. In exceptional cases when a dimension cannot be evaluated, no square is granted. The explanation of each of these quality levels can be found below:
- EFMD, BE – co-ordinator
- European Network for Quality of Higher Engineering Education for Industry (ENQHEEI ) – technical co-ordinator
- European Foundation for Engineering Development (EFEED)
- Council of European Professional and Managerial Staff (EUROCADRES ), BE
- Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) on behalf of Consortium Linking Universities of Science and Technology for Education and Research (CLUSTER), PT
- Technische Universität Wien (TUW), AT
- Politecnico di Torino (POLITO), IT
- Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT), DE
- Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), ES
- Engineering Professors’ Council (EPC), UK
- KTH (Royal Institute of Technology), SE
- Ceské Vysoké Uceni Technické v Praze (CVUT), CZ
- Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), BE
- Wroclaw University of Technology (WTU), PL
- Comité d'études sur les formations d'ingénieurs (CEFI), FR
- Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris (MINES ParisTech), FR
- Bureau permanent de liaison entre Grandes Ecoles et Technische (GE-TH), FR
- Internationale Personalberatung (CNL), DE
- Russian Association for Engineering Education (RAEE), RU
- European University Republic of Macedonia (EURM), MK
EFMD is the project co-ordinator and as such monitors and contributes to all project activities. In particular EFMD supervises the work for the development of the meta-referential, the project management and the project dissemination.
For more information, please visit the project website: http://plone.queste.eu/.