CDIO as a Foundation for Program Accreditation/Certification in Portugal

CDIO as a Foundation for Program Accreditation/Certification in Portugal

António Manuel Cardoso Costa (Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto (ISEP), Portugal), Ângelo Manuel Silva Martins (Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto (ISEP), Portugal) and João Manuel Simões Rocha (Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto (ISEP), Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/ijqaete.2012040103
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This document describes two initiatives for accreditation/certification of first and second cycle Bologna programs in Portugal. One initiative was started by the National Agency for Program Evaluation and Accreditation and is mandatory for all Bologna programs. The other initiative was launched by the Portuguese Professional Engineering Association and aims to certify, at the European level, Bologna second cycle engineering programs with the EUR-ACE quality seal. Both initiatives are essentially evidence-based and stress the importance of having an operating quality assurance system to support and monitor program execution. The Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto (ISEP) experience with the CDIO and EUR-ACE frameworks is described and strong points highlighted in this article. In the end, the authors propose that combining CDIO and EUR-ACE may bring added value, because CDIO is more oriented to program operation and EUR-ACE more oriented to program management. The authors also propose the CDIO Syllabus as the link between CDIO and EUR-ACE.
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Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto (ISEP) is one of the five largest engineering schools in Portugal, with almost 6500 students, 420 faculty and 130 staff. It is located at Porto and in 2009-2010 lectured 10 first cycle and 10 second cycle Bologna programs. In late 2008, ISEP proposed a new Systems Engineering first cycle Bologna program that included most of CDIO program standards and practices. The program, designed by a team of ISEP CDIO adopters and the top management staff of the biggest Portuguese entrepreneurial association (Associação Empresarial de Portugal), was finally approved in May 2009 and has started in September 2010. Of the 22 engineering programs in the list below the three programs marked with an asterisk (*) were designed in accordance with CDIO standards and practices, while the others have been adapting their structure and operation to the CDIO approach.

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