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Accreditation of Engineering Programs. The case of UTN, Argentina. UTN. Was created in 1952 to foster industrial development in the country Conceived as an educational space closely bound to the production field

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Accreditation of engineering programs

Accreditation of Engineering Programs

The case of UTN, Argentina

Accreditation of engineering programs

  • Was created in 1952 to foster industrial development in the country

  • Conceived as an educational space closely bound to the production field

  • Aiming at the education of factory engineers who had been former students at technical schools working in different disciplines

Accreditation of engineering programs

  • 29 faculties all over the country

  • 14 engineering programs

  • 122 engineering careers

  • 53,500+ students representing more than 40 % of all engineering students in the country

Accreditation process in argentina
accreditation process in argentina

  • As well as in the rest of Latin America, assessment and accreditation processes started to gain momentum in the ‘90s

  • After the National Law of Higher Education was passed The National Commission for University Assessment and Accreditation (CONEAU)was created as a decentralized, self-sufficient organization acting as an agency in charge of institutional evaluation by universities and of career accreditation of courses considered of social interest, as is the case with medicine, engineering and others.

Basic criteria for accreditation
Basic criteriaforaccreditation

  • Basic Curricular Contents:

    • a basic, synthetic matrix is provided, from which curricular guidelines and study plans stem out, emphasizing the need for developing an entrepreneurial and proactive attitude.

  • Course Load/ Hourly workload:

    • for a period of 5 years a courseload of 3750 contact hours is recommended.

    • Also, it regulates a minimum 55% as theory, practice and laboratory in four groups of subjects:

      • Basic Sciences, 750 hrs;

      • Basic Technologies, 750 hrs;

      • Applied Technologies, 575 hrs;

      • Complementary (Econ., Leg., Environ., etc.), 175 hrs..

Basic criteria for accreditation1
Basic criteriaforaccreditation

  • Criteria for Practical Training Intensity:

    • at least 750 hrs for experimental training are recommended;

    • 200 hrs for experimental and/or field work;

    • 150 hrs for engineering problem resolution;

    • 200 hrs for project activities;

    • 200 hrs for Supervised Professional Practice in productive and/or service sectors.

  • Accreditation Standards:

    • distributed in Institutional Context (10 standards), Study and Education Plan (16), Academic Body (8), Under-graduates and Graduates (6), Infrastructure and Equipment (11).

The improvement process
The Improvement Process

  • As from diagnoses established by CONEAU reports, careers were devoted for a period of three years to substantiate committed improvement plans. Some of the actions taken include:

    • Approval of the regulatory framework for Supervised Professional Practice by Resolution of the Superior University Council (CSU)

    • Substantiation of public examinations for faculty members: More than 3000 positions examined

    • Postgraduate Education for faculty members: Engineering specializations and post-graduate courses, financed by the university

    • Follow-up and Student Support Program: Designation of over 400 tutors and student fellowship programs

    • Doctoral Scholarships Programs by UTN Superior Council: An average of eight scholarships a year were awarded

    • Doctoral Scholarships by the National Research and Technology Council (CONICET)

    • PROMEI Sub-program for Postgraduate Fellowships

The improvement process1
The Improvement Process

  • Young researchers localization Program by CSU at UTN

  • Program for admission of researchers from Institutes at CONICET

  • Programs for Initial Fellowships for Research and Development by the Superior Council (BINID) at UTN

  • Subprogram for localization of research faculty members by PROMEI

  • Subprogram for upgrading commitment at PROMEI: more than 450 faculty members were upgraded to full-time commitment

  • Increase of bibliography and publications: were well above evaluation staff expectations

  • Laboratory equipment acquisition: mainly for basic sciences, satisfying student demand

  • Building infrastructure improvement program: with an investment above 20 million dollars

Final analysis
Final analysis

  • 2002: Aeronautics, Civil, Electrical, Electro-mechanical, Electronical, Mechanical and Chemical representing 78 university terminals in all which had been independently assessed.

  • 2004: Industrial and Metallurgical Engineering were included, which by the end of 2006 represented a total of 9 careers.

  • 2008: the accreditation process was restarted. During this stage, CONEAU began to audit the degree of fulfillment for improvement programs committed by Academic Units.

  • 2009: Information Systems was included. The process will begin next year

  • In general, regulations dated early in 2009 establish a very high degree of attainment.

Final analysis1
Final analysis

  • Some numbers

    • 319 engineering careers under accreditation process in Argentina

    • 104 of them in our University

    • 85 accredited

    • 19 in process


  • We have described the main characteristics for engineering careers accreditation process at UTN.

  • Dedicated almost exclusively to the teaching of engineering, this university has been transversely and deeply impacted by these processes constituting, in our opinion, the largest Latin American institution having the totality of careers accredited or under the process of accreditation.

  • Thanks to the prevailing culture of self-assessment, far from being perceived as a threat, because of its autonomy, these processes constitute a powerful tool for permanent university community improvement at UTN.

  • Also, the institution attempt to offer solutions to flaws and shortcomings detected has made possible to obtain the necessary financing for funding programs.


  • Based on the diagnoses before and after the accreditation process, it can be concluded that there are certain factors that have given UTN programs distinctive characteristics making it a highly appreciated university due to its quality and adaptability to the productive needs of the country. These factors may be summarized as:

    • the application of a new curriculum filling the accreditation standards

    • actions taken to foster postgraduate education of faculty members and their resulting participation in research

    • outreach and postgraduate activities

    • allocation of resources from funding programs that allowed for the reconversion of part-time to full-time faculty positions and new research teachers and

    • modernization of the equipment.


  • A summary projection into the future allows us to infer that being able to achieve continuity and sustainability of the improvement attained in such a short period of time in our group of colleges will become a key element for our future performance as an educational institution consolidating its position in the national and international context by helping generate human resources of the quality deemed necessary for technological development of the country and region.

Thank you