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A comparative analysis of ABE Bachelor of Science programs in European and US Universities

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  131594010,  2013 Kansas City, Missouri, July 21 - July 24, 2013. (doi: @2013
Authors:   Francisco Ayuga, José M. Fuentes-Pardo, Álvaro Ramírez-Gómez, Ana I. García-García, Pedro J. Aguado Rodríguez
Keywords:   University studies ABE Agricultural & Biological Engineering EHEA.

Abstract. European Universities are involved in series of great changes regarding teaching and education organization during the last few years. The origin of these changes is the creation of the so-called European Higher Education Area (EHEA), which main target is to harmonize the different University studies throughout Europe. As a consequence, most of the programs of studies in all degrees are suffering changes in order to converge to common structures. Taking advantage of the actual process, some European universities are moving from traditional Agricultural Engineering programs to a more wide discipline named recently as Biosystems Engineering, which is a science-based engineering discipline that integrates engineering science and design with applied biological, environmental and agricultural sciences, broadening in this way the area of application of Engineering sciences not strictly to agricultural sciences, but to the biological sciences in general, including the agricultural sciences. This paper presents a comparative study of different Bachelor of Science degrees offered by American and European Universities in the field of Agricultural/Biosystems Engineering. To carry out the analysis 40 programs accredited by ABET in American Universities and 50 European programs. Among other questions, the total number of credits, the number of semesters, the kind of modules and the distribution of subjects in groups (Basic Sciences, Engineering Fundamentals, Agricultural/Biological Sciences, Humanities & Economic Sciences, Applied Agricultural/Biological Engineering and electives) are discussed in the paper. The information provided can be an useful starting point in future definitions of new or renewed degrees with the aim of advancing in internationalization of the programs and helping student’s mobility.

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