Assessment of the Practical Training Requirement in Engineering Education in Palestinian Universities

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Journal Title, Volume, Page: 
Amideast
Year of Publication: 
2010
Authors: 
Riyad Abdel-Karim
An Najah university, Nablus
Current Affiliation: 
Lecturer
Samir H. helou
An Najah University
Current Affiliation: 
Lecturer
Preferred Abstract (Original): 
Abstract: Practical internship is a mandatory course requirement in all Engineering undergraduate programs in all Engineering disciplines and in all Palestinian universities and is congruent with international norms. In such courses, students are expected to spend a period of eight to ten weeks in a recognized engineering firm in order to achieve essential hands-on skills in their respective fields of study. Upon completion of this requirement students are required to present a comprehensive report detailing the extent of the practical experience attained in design work or in the field. Vernacular reasons dictate that the bulk of Palestinian students implement this requirement in local engineering firms. The following study is conducted to scrutinize the relevance of this requirement in fulfilling the objective of the requirement under the prevailing conditions of limited adequate engineering facilities taking into serious consideration the perpetually growing student demand. The following study shows that, despite the importance of this course as a key requirment for producing well qualified and trained engineering graduates, the actual practice of implementation needs to be constantly scrutinized. The hurdles facing better reinforcement of this obligatory requirement are discussed and suggested solutions are subsequently recommended. The study concludes that unless the training period is invested at a venue providing trainees with adequate exposure to the cutting edge of technology and to state of the art engineering then the entire exercise would be one of futility as it would be counter productive. The present experience of the ubiquitous students exchange program for the purpose of training through the Union Arab Universities or through the International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience (IAESTE) is thoroughly discussed. In the Palestinian context transfer of knowledge is a well desired prerogative in the long overdue state building endeavor.
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