University-industrial enterprise connection

Control Engineering International: Explore new pattern of industrial talent training with new university and enterprise cooperation, said Control Engineering China.

09/12/2013


Allan Tsay, the general manager of Advantech China industry automation group, was introducing the university-enterprise cooperation project. Courtesy: Control Engineering, Control Engineering ChinaRecently, the ministry of education of the Chinese government organized a series of university-business cooperation projects. Well-known industrial automation manufacturers, such as Omron, Rockwell Automation, and Advantech, have been participating in these projects, helping to improve engineering students’ practical operation skills.

For the projects, the businesses donate necessary industrial automation equipment to a series of colleges, provide training courses to engineering students, and hold professional skills competitions to select leading students. These activities were eagerly welcomed by the colleges and students, and applications are many.

China skills gap

In the past two years, employment rates for graduates from colleges in China have been low. Many industrial enterprises have been worrying about lack of professional engineers and skilled technical workers. One cause is that many engineering graduates lacked practical skills and experience. Companies had to spend a lot of money and time training the graduates to make them competent for professional work. For companies, such talent strategy was not economical, but they had no choice.

Education departments have been committed to looking for methods to change this situation. In the university-enterprise cooperation projects, a project committee from the ministry of education has been actively organizing and coordinating between the enterprises and colleges. Mrs. Xue, one leader of the committee, said: “We hope students can improve their ability through the competition, so that they can be more conducive to employment upon graduation.” 

Focus on practical engineering

Unlike many similar projects, this university-business cooperation project pays more attention to cultivating students' practical engineering abilities. For example, students were asked to form technical teams and solve a series of engineering subjects for practical applications, such as writing and debugging a program to control a manipulator for a motion application, or designing a remote monitoring system for an urban water supply project.

In addition, related assessment standards are more diversified. Students need to consider technical issues, and the practicability and economy of the solution. Allan Tsay, the general manager of Advantech China industry automation group, said: “We hope the students who participate in this project can get opportunities to solve actual engineering problems, which will make their abilities increase significantly. To do so, they must exercise their technical ability, creativity, and team cooperation ability.” 

- Henry Qiao is an editor, Control Engineering China. Translation from a recent edition of CE China was edited by Mark T. Hoske, content manager, CFE Media, Control Engineering, Plant Engineering, and Consulting-Specifying Engineer, mhoske(at)cfemedia.com.

Consider this

Are local manufacturers in your area working with technical colleges and university to ensure they like what they get from graduates? If not, why not?

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