Prism Magazine - February 2003
Getting Down To Business
Unsettling State of Affairs
Down & Out in Afghanistan
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Europe's New Business Model

 

Frank HubandIn the last five years, Europe has seen an explosion of research parks—there are currently about 170 such parks with 40 more on the drawing board. This month's cover story, "About Face," looks at the booming trend in European research and entrepreneurship. Growth has been sparked by local governments that see the parks as a way to boost their economies. The article examines the components of a successful park—the right mix of services plus an organized entrepreneurial environment—and notes that viable science parks have managed to weather the fallout from the technology meltdown. In Europe, a research park may be known as a science park, a technology park, or a technopole. The terms are interchangeable but, whatever the name, the key component is a link to a research university and faculty members who are conducting innovative research that has commercial applications.

Meanwhile, in the United States, many in the engineering research community are concerned about the new security regulations initiated after September 11. The article, "An Unsettling State of Affairs" looks at what has happened as the Immigration and Naturalization Services moves to scrutinize students and faculty more closely. The delays for international students applying for visas have lengthened—at one point the State Department had a backlog of 10,000 applications. Colleges and universities, as well as the research community, are concerned about the effect of delayed visas for international students who form a big part of the research workforce.

" Down & Out in Afghanistan" takes Prism to this war-ravaged nation where little infrastructure remains after 20 years of constant warfare. Everything needs rebuilding—roads, bridges, sewage and water systems, communication, and power generation—but there is a critical shortage of the engineers needed for all projects. American engineering educators at the University of Hartford and Purdue University are struggling to help Herat University and Kabul University resurrect their engineering programs, but lack of funding poses a major problem.

What do schools do after the ABET visits? How do they put the new objectives into practice? The article, "The Real Test" looks at these questions and also at the new challenge of the continuous quality improvement phase of the ABET policy.

As always, I would enjoy hearing your comments and views.

 

Frank L. Huband
Executive Director and Publisher
f.huband@asee.org

 
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