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Lodz University of Technology: Marking 70 years
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Training the Engineers of the Future
May 7, 2015   
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The Lodz University of Technology’s mission is not just to build up its scientific and research potential but also to create a modern center of education where innovative teaching gives students the skills that today’s engineers need.

The skills essential to function effectively in a global labor market include the ability to communicate in an international and multicultural environment, supported by proficiency in at least two foreign languages. For more than 20 years, the university has had an International Faculty of Engineering, which specializes in training engineers through a program taught exclusively in English or French. Among other things, students gain experience by spending several months at one of 300 partner universities as part of their “mobility window”—one semester during which they have no classes to take at their home university.

Every year the International Faculty of Engineering accepts more than 300 foreign students under the Erasmus program. They make up over 20 percent of the student community. This translates into significant internationalization of even the smallest student groups. Extensive collaboration with foreign universities, a substantial contribution by professors from all over the world in the teaching process, and an emphasis on the exchange and transfer of good international practice to education means that students have to function in a world of many cultures.

One major constituent of the Lodz University of Technology’s identity comes from agreements on double degrees, of which the school has signed a dozen or so. This is a huge opportunity for students to obtain confirmation of their skills and abilities not only from their home university but also from a leading foreign university.

Besides intensively developing international contacts, the Lodz University of Technology attaches great importance to implementing innovative teaching methods. The university operates a student-centered system. In an era of technological progress and easy access to information, traditional teaching methods in which students play a rather passive role are on the way out. More innovative teaching methods are being introduced that are largely based on problem-based learning. Unlike the classic lecture system, in problem-based learning students actively seek out knowledge and then—with the help of a teacher-mentor—learn how to use that knowledge to solve all kinds of engineering problems.

“Design thinking” is a special kind of problem-based learning. This method aims to have students diagnose the needs of a given environment and then effectively implement solutions that respond to those needs, taking into account the actual circumstances at companies. For this to work, it is essential to get companies involved in the teaching process. Through various forms of collaboration with businesses (projects, joint teaching of classes, discussion forums, competitions), the university enables students to solve real problems that companies face. Thanks to this, education is strongly linked to real-life issues faced by today’s businesses.

DorotaPiotrowska
International Faculty of Engineering
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