Document Type

Conference Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence



Publication Details

SEFI (European Society for Engineering Education) 2011 Annual Conference Proceedings.


In this paper, we describe the lessons learned, and determinants of quality, from two Atlantis programmes. Additionally our two student authors will share key student perspectives relevant to student mobility: (1) before they visited the partner university, (2) while they were studying at the partner university and (3) after they returned to their home university. Purdue University and the Technological University Dublin, together with the Hochschule Darmstadt and Pennsylvania State University, were successful in securing an Atlantis mobility grant [1] for four years to support student and staff mobility between the United States and Europe. The programme has just completed its third year and both engineering and technology students have benefitted from it. Subsequently Purdue University, Technological University Dublin and the Universitat Politècnica De Catalunya were successful in securing an Atlantis grant to implement a dual degree MSc in Sustainability, Technology & Innovation [2]. This programme is now underway and the first students have begun study in partner universities. Given that the core theme for this SEFI Annual conference is global engineering recognition, sustainability, mobility, this paper will address aspects of all three of these topics from both a student and an academic perspective. Among the key determinants of quality [3] that will be highlighted are student selection, student preparation and orientation (both out-going and incoming), student housing considerations; instructional culture differences; student plan of study establishment; student finances; accommodation of miss-matched calendars; purposes and nature of faculty mobility; programme operation and personnel; project communication and evaluation [4]. The concept of sustainability will be approached in terms of both the content and experiences designed into the students’ plan of study as well as the continuation of the exchanges and dual degree programme beyond the four year externally funded projects that enabled their initiation. Because no academic paper can present first person student insights, perspectives, and concerns and because these are also central to the success of such programmes, we have carefully involved two students in the preparation of our paper and delivery of the presentation. In turn, they have interacted with other exchangees so that a broad perspective is presented. The summary findings of the projects’ third party evaluator [5] will be summarized to yield a complete 360° overview of what makes such important exchange and study-abroad programmes in engineering and technology fields successful. Finally, we will conclude with a brief highlighting of the evaluation design, assessment and monitoring systems needed to maintain effective forward progress for such project. The paper will be presented by two faculty/academics associated with managing the Atlantis programmes and by two students who participated in the Atlantis programmes.



European Commission EU Atlantis Programme & US Department of Education