A New Trial of Innovative Engineering Education at Japan's Unique Colleges of Technology "KOSEN"

In the present age, it is required a new development of engineering education. This is a project to challenge how to raise students’ awareness of voluntary practice towards solving problems in the real world from a younger generation.

Hiroyuki Aoki
National Institute of Technology, Tokyo College

Susumu Tarao
National Institute of Technology, Tokyo College

Tatsuo Nakazawa
National Institute of Technology, Tokyo College


 
Antti Piironen
Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Science

Background and Objectives
The purpose of this project is
· Train innovative engineers who can design future technologies with their own ideas.
· Train students to solve technical and social issues by thinking and practising themselves, beyond the framework of engineering education centring on knowledge acquisition that has been traditionally done in Japan.
National College of Technology (hereinafter referred to as Kosen) is a unique educational system in Japan and 57 schools nationwide are set up.
It is a higher education institution that emphasizes practical education similar to "the University of Applied Science" in Europe.
We have undertaken full-scale technical education with educational methods consistently introducing a lot of experimental practice, from students of younger age group (entrance at age of 15) than regular university students for 5 or 7 years courses.
Those who completed the 7 - year course can get the "bachelor’s degree" as same as the university.
Compared with universities, Kosen has strong ties with local industries, so students can have many chances to aware practical issues for themes of the project.
In some cases, such industry staff will participate in the evaluation of the project.
At Tokyo Kosen, a project named "social implementation project (innovative Japan)" has been practised for over 5 years. This was a trial chance for students to discover issues of society and technology by themselves and solve problems voluntarily, and more than 50 student’s groups from over 20 Kosens of all over Japan participated. The report meeting of this project begins to attract attention from industries as well.