SEOUL, July 29 (Korea Bizwire) – The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP) of Korea revealed on July 29 its ‘2016 Innovation Plan for Engineering Schools’ during the 85th National Policy Revision Council, presided by Hwang Kyo-ahn, the Prime Minister of South Korea.
A ‘junior’ research team consisting of undergraduate students majoring in engineering will be formed to serve as problem solvers for companies that struggle with scientific or technical challenges.
The innovation plan focuses on creating 400 teams of engineering researchers in order to give undergraduate students the opportunity to acquire problem-solving skills in real world situations.
Each team will consist of three or four undergraduate students and one graduate student as a leader, and carry out R&D projects to assist companies with technical difficulties. Selected from universities across the country, the chosen teams will receive 8 to 10 million won ($7,100 – $8,900) per year in R&D funds.
Teams that show notable successes or positive outcomes will also receive support to launch start-up businesses after the team members graduate.
The MSIP expects the plan to offer dual benefits, since students will gain practical experience and companies will receive useful assistance in return.
A consortium of universities, corporations, and government research agencies will also be created to foster experts in engineering research fields who have both extensive, theoretical knowledge and real-life experience.
Five special consortiums will be selected next year by the MSIP, and will receive 10 billion won ($8.9 million) in support funds. Graduate students who pursue master’s or doctorate degrees in engineering will be able to freely select the location of their studies – whether at university, government-run research institutions, or in a corporate environment – to broaden their perspectives on the R&D industry in general and get hands-on experience.
Furthermore, the innovation plan will introduce a specific evaluation scheme that assesses students’ technical competency to direct engineering education toward field-oriented education.
To apply for a professional engineer’s license, one must first obtain a technician license, then have four years of professional experience, however undergraduate students who complete engineering education certificate programs will be exempted from obtaining the engineer technician license.
A PE license is often sought by working professionals in the science and engineering fields because it often helps with getting promoted or switching jobs.
By Nonnie Kim (email@example.com)