Fostering English-taught higher education programs in a Spanish university: the "TechEnglish" innovative project

Blanco Gutiérrez, Irene ORCID:, Alises Pérez, Ana, Allona Alberich, Isabel Marta ORCID:, Argüelles Alvarez, Irina, Arribas, G., Astillero, J. R., Atienza Riera, José Miguel ORCID:, Batalla, C., Blanco Fonseca, Maria ORCID:, Chaya Romero, Carolina ORCID:, Abril, O. de, Delgado, M., Dieguez, Carmen, Gonzalez Guerrero, Manuel ORCID:, Gonzalez Rodrigo, Sonsoles ORCID:, González Melendi, Pablo, Hontoria Fernández, Chiquinquirá ORCID:, Jordá Miró, Lucía ORCID:, Lisazo, J., Magistrali, D., Mariscal Sancho, Ignacio de Loyola, Mira Pérez, Sara ORCID:, Moliner Aramendia, Ana María ORCID:, Padial Molina, Juan Francisco ORCID:, Pérez Arias, Juana ORCID:, Pierce McMahon, Joana, Redondas Marrero, Maria Dolores ORCID:, Rey Navarro, Luis ORCID:, Robisco Martín, María del Mar ORCID:, Rodríguez Sinobas, Leonor ORCID:, Rueda, Sonia L., San José, F., Sancho, Carlos, Vassallo Magro, José Manuel ORCID:, Villarroel, Morris and Zanuy Sánchez, Carlos ORCID: (2015). Fostering English-taught higher education programs in a Spanish university: the "TechEnglish" innovative project. In: "9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference (INTED),", 02/03/2015-04/03/2015, Madrid, España. pp. 6314-6320.


Title: Fostering English-taught higher education programs in a Spanish university: the "TechEnglish" innovative project
Item Type: Presentation at Congress or Conference (Article)
Event Title: 9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference (INTED),
Event Dates: 02/03/2015-04/03/2015
Event Location: Madrid, España
Title of Book: INTED2015 Proceedings
Date: 2015
Faculty: E.T.S.I. Agrónomos (UPM) [antigua denominación]
Department: Economía Agraria, Estadística y Gestión de Empresas
Creative Commons Licenses: Recognition - No derivative works - Non commercial

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In recent years, coinciding with adjustments to the Bologna process, many European universities have attempted to improve their international profile by increasing course offerings in English. According to the Institute of International Education (IIE), Spain has notably increased its English-taught higher education programs, ranking fifth in the list of European countries by number of English-taught Master's programs in 2013. This article presents the goals and preliminary results of an on-going innovative education project (TechEnglish) that aims to promote course offerings in English at the Technical University of Madrid (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, UPM). The UPM is the oldest and largest of all Technical Universities in Spain. It offers graduate and postgraduate programs that cover all the engineering disciplines as well as architecture. Currently, the UPM has no specific bilingual/multilingual program to promote teaching in English, although there is an Educational Model Whitepaper (with a focus on undergraduate degrees) that promotes the development of activities like an International Semester or a unique shared curriculum. The TechEnglish project is an attempt to foster courses taught in English at 7 UPM Technical Schools, including students and 80 faculty members. Four tasks were identified: (1) to design a university wide framework to increase course offerings, (2) to identify administrative difficulties, (3) to increase visibility of courses offered, and (4) to disseminate the results of the project. First, to design a program we analyzed existing programs at other Spanish universities, and other projects and efforts already under way at the UPM. A total of 13 plans were analyzed and classified according to their relation with students (learning), professors (teaching), administration, course offerings, other actors/institutions within the university (e.g., language departments), funds and projects, dissemination activities, mobility plans and quality control. Second, to begin to identify administrative and organizational difficulties in the implementation of teaching in English, we first estimated the current and potential course offerings at the undergraduate level at the UPM using a survey (student, teacher and administrative demand, level of English and willingness to work in English). Third, to make the course offerings more attractive for both Spanish and international students we examined the way the most prestigious universities in Spain and in Europe try to improve the visibility of their academic offerings in English. Finally, to disseminate the results of the project we created a web page and a workspace on the Moodle education platform and prepared conferences and workshops within the UPM. Preliminary results show that increasing course offerings in English is an important step to promote the internationalization of the University. The main difficulties identified at the UPM were related to how to acknowledge/certify the departments, teachers or students involved in English courses, how students should register for the courses, how departments should split and schedule the courses (Spanish and English), and the lack of qualified personnel. A concerted effort could be made to increase the visibility of English-taught programs offered on-line.

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Item ID: 42102
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Deposited by: Memoria Investigacion
Deposited on: 27 Jun 2016 15:05
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2016 15:05
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