UNESCO Engineering Initiative

© UNESCO
A graphic showing how engineering is associated to different areas of interest (UNESCO Report, 2010, p. 4).

The UNESCO Engineering Initiative (UEI) was established by the 36th session of the UNESCO General Conference, in November 2011, to address major challenges in engineering. These challenges include the shortage of engineers around the world, decreased interest in engineering as career option for young people, the underrepresentation of women in engineering and brain drain for many countries.

Currently, UEI is working with Member States, international partners and program experts to strengthen engineering education through curricula development and capacity building. It is also incorporating sustainability topics into engineering education by highlighting the need for green technology in engineering applications. In line with UNESCO’s global priorities on Africa and Gender Equality, UEI focuses on women and the African region in their activities and programmes.

Lastly, UEI is fostering scientific exchange and excellence through its partnerships with various non-governmental organizations, multinational corporations and engineering educational institutions to encourage investment in applied research and training. Several of UEI’s projects, in partnership with the World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), have been successful at inspiring young individuals to pursue engineering studies at the secondary and tertiary level.

UEI brings together the engineering capacity from existing organizational units in an innovative, pragmatic and cost-effective manner. Through these partnerships, UEI assists Member States in tackling contemporary challenges, such as the need to develop clean technologies, to reduce industrial pollution, to manage safe drinking water supplies, and to create affordable technologies for other social needs. UEI seeks to increase the public’s understanding of engineering, and its effective contribution to the socio-economic development of societies.

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