Engineering the future: perspective on challenges in higher education

University of Illinois President Robert A. Easter, host of the Chicago regional dialogue, talks about how a legacy of discovery, experiential learning, and a commitment to diversity helps prepare future engineers to take on the challenges of tomorrow.

 

How is an engineering education at U of I unique?

The University of Illinois, a world leader in research and discovery, is home to undergraduate and graduate engineering programs that are ranked among the nation’s best, and has a higher percentage of STEM graduates than all 4-year public universities in the nation. In addition to

leading-edge classroom instruction, our students engage in experiential learning opportunities; they are prepared for the workforce and empowered to change the world.

 

How can we increase diversity in the engineering talent pipeline?

The University of Illinois is the largest educational institution in the state with more than 78,000 students, a land-grant commitment to diversity and opportunity, and world-class programs that attract students from every corner of the globe. Our Urbana-Champaign and Chicago campuses each have active programs to recruit minority students, and provide financial aid and mentoring to support their success.

 

How can gatherings like NEF dialogues impact the nation’s future?

Federally funded research is critical to America’s economic growth, national security, and physical health. The National Engineering Forum convenes leaders from industry, academia and government, so that we can work together to ensure the support that will solve our greatest challenges and maintain America’s place as a world leader in innovation.

 

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