Co-Operation Models for Industries and Software Education Institutions

Co-Operation Models for Industries and Software Education Institutions

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-797-5.ch003
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In order to underpin software industry-oriented education and make it more practical, a co-operation model for industries and software education institutes is described and discussed in this chapter. Based on the popular engineering education theory conceive, design, implement, operate (CDIO) associated with MIT and other universities (Crawley, 2001), and the value chain theory described by Porter (1996), an industry-institute-interoperation (I-I-Io) model was developed with five evolutionary stages - isolated, oriented, interacting, interoperating, and converging. The implementation of this co-operation model between institute and industry within the National Pilot School of Software at Harbin Institute of Technology, while still evolving, has already shown considerable vitality in the development of software engineering education.
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Participants’ Motivation for Co-Operation

The four participants involved in the industry-institute co-operation to be discussed in this chapter - industry, institute, government and students - are all key stakeholders of the educational process.

Industry has a vital interest in recruiting skilled and capable graduate software engineers, and can and should play an invaluable role in computing education. The institute has the responsibility to provide the best and most appropriate education possible for students to prepare them for their careers, producing graduates with the knowledge and skills required by industry and helping to underpin software industry success. The government serves to provide coordination between industry and institute in software industry-oriented education (SIOE) within the wider interests of society as a whole. Finally, students are at the heart of the educational process and are significant beneficiaries of SIOE.

Industry: Business Value

From the industrial standpoint, business value is the predominant consideration for the enterprises involved. The advantages can be detailed in the four following areas, at least:

  • Human Resources: Software industry oriented engineering education enables the institute to produce graduates who are highly-qualified, professional and with knowledge and skills that make them readily integrated into industry. Unfortunately, in China and many other countries, the shortage of such highly skilled and productive graduates remains a pressing problem for most enterprises.

  • Technique: When many students with advanced software skills and techniques enter an enterprise on undergraduate internship, the limitations in their industrial development experience can be remedied to some extent. Even though internship students receive limited practical industrial experience, the new techniques and theories they have learned in their institutes can help solve technical problems in the company or, at least, provide some new insights and approaches of considerable value to working engineers.

  • Finance: Employing internship students can save money for enterprise because the salary required is generally lower than that of full-time employees. The lower cost can relieve some financial pressure within an enterprise.

  • Quality assurance: High-quality students/graduates can become high quality employees developing high-quality products that can save considerably on the testing and maintenance phases of products and so help enhance the prestige and market of the enterprise.

Institute: Prestige Value

The main driving motivations for the institute to participate in industry co-operation are summarized as follows.

  • Improving its national and international ranking: A college can gain greater prestige when it produces more highly skilled and productive graduates for industry.

  • Improving software engineering education: If the widely-perceived gap between engineering education and engineering practice is bridged, the value of engineering science would be enhanced and the industry raised to a higher level of success and prosperity.

  • Correcting poor practices: Some institutes, even some key Chinese universities, have to face the embarrassing criticism of their applied software engineering education, that the graduates they produce are unfit for a higher post but unwilling to take a lower one.

  • Relieving employment pressure: When the majority of graduates can find favorable employment, the pressure on institutes to help ensure the employment of their graduates can be relieved.

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