The Engineering Master program at Ecole des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) was assessed by the Commission des Titres d’Ingénieur, CTI. This assessment procedure took place within the framework of the Certificate for Quality in Internationalisation project. CTI convened an assessment panel which studied the ENPC self-evaluation report, organized in advance the preparation of interviews, and undertook a site visit at Noisy-Champs on May 28, 2014.
The panel made the following comments:
Standard 1: Intended internationalisation
With regard to Criterion 1a: Supported goals the panel concluded that the internationalisation goals for the programme are satisfactorily documented and shared by the stakeholders.
The panel recommended that the documentation on this domain should be presented both in French and English language; straight forward information should be given in simpler and more uniform terms.
Regarding Criterion 1b: Verifiable objectives the panel recognised that some precise objectives had been formulated and that some of these objectives are verifiable by measurable indicators, thanks to the obligation of the 4-year objective plan with the ministry. But some of those indicators appear to be slightly different from those used internally and are not checked on a year-to-year basis.
The panel recommends that a unified list of indicators be used on a rolling plan basis, even if the Contrat d’Objectifs is negotiated every four years only. The long term vision of ENPC should be made available to all stakeholders.
In view of Criterion 1c: Measures for improvement the panel noted that external and internal evaluations of the programme’s internationalisation take place periodically; follow-ups are organized by ENPC staff. A few of the improvements recommended by external evaluators appear to be treated with apprehension. The panel recommends that ENPC may carry out a specific analysis of these delayed actions and present a plan to catch up or propose alternative solutions.
The overall conclusions of the panel regarding Standard 1: Intended internationalisation read as follows: ENPC has given itself ambitious “Internationalization” goals. These goals are shared by all stakeholders, although communication could be improved by using French and English language and a more standardized vocabulary.
The “Contrat d’Objectifs”, negotiated every four years with the French Ministry in charge of ENPC, is an excellent opportunity to set more detailed objectives; ENPC could benefit from a systematic use of measurable indicators in a four-year rolling plan.
External and internal evaluation of the programme’s “Internationalization” is performed periodically. Special attention should be placed on recommendations which fail to receive adequate answers.
The panel assesses Standard 1: Intended internationalisation as satisfactory.
Standard 2: International and intercultural learning
With respect to Criterion 2a: Intended learning outcomes the panel observed: Since “learning outcomes” are not used to describe the educational goals of the engineering programme there is only indirect evidence of a connection between the employed teaching and learning methods and the internationalisation goals of the programme. The panel recommends to the School to work over the course syllabuses in order to inform the students and stakeholders about the connection between the intended learning outcomes and the internationalisation goals of the programme.
Regarding Criterion 2b: Student assessment the panel comes to the conclusion that although learning outcomes are not a formal part of course description the methods of student assessment employed by the School are implicitly based on the notion of international and intercultural learning outcomes. The panel recommends to the School to orient teaching and learning as well as student assessment toward explicitly defined (international and intercultural) learning outcomes.
The panel further assesses Criterion 2c: Graduate achievement to be fulfilled. The achievement of international and intercultural learning outcomes by the programme’s graduates can be demonstrated and is generally recognised. The panel recommends to the School, however, that periodic formal evaluations of graduate achievements should be prepared for the future.
The overall conclusion of the panel regarding Standard 2: International and intercultural learning reads as follows: The panel was satisfied to see that the programme effectively fosters the achievement of international and intercultural learning outcomes. What is needed is an explicit definition and use of learning outcomes for the orientation of the teaching and learning process as well as for the assessment of students.
￼In view of the impressive success of the programme regarding the development of international and intercultural competencies in engineering students the panel assesses Standard 2: International and intercultural learning outcomes as good.
Standard 3: Teaching and learning
Regarding Criterion 3a: Curriculum the panel comes to the conclusion that the content and the structure of the curriculum provide the necessary means for achieving the intended international and intercultural learning outcomes. It recommends adding some information about the international and intercultural dimensions of the engineering education at ENPC to the Diploma Supplement.
The panel was very satisfied by the information provided by ENCP on teaching methods (Criterion 3b). It concluded that the teaching methods are suitable for achieving the intended international and intercultural learning outcomes. By combining the theoretical and practical education of engineers with innovative language teaching and intercultural project work and/or study abroad phases ENPC provides an outstanding example of modern university education. The panel recommends offering courses taught entirely in English.
With regard to Criterion 3c: Learning environment the panel concluded that the learning environment is especially suitable for achieving the intended international and intercultural learning outcomes.
The panel came to the overall conclusion regarding Standard 3: Teaching and learning: The panel is convinced that the programme systematically and substantially surpasses the current generic quality for this standard across the standard’s entire spectrum. It includes exemplary structural components, teaching methods and learning conditions and can be regarded as an international example for this standard.
The panel therefore assesses Standard 3: Teaching and learning as excellent.
Standard 4: Staff
Regarding Criterion 4a: Composition the panel found that the composition of the staff facilitates the achievement of the intended international and intercultural learning outcomes. Moreover the panel is convinced that staff members have sufficient international experience, intercultural competences and language skills (Criterion 4b). In view of Criterion 4c: Services the panel finally concludes that the services provided to the staff are consistent with the staff composition. These services adequately facilitate international experiences, intercultural competences and language skills. The panel recommends setting incentives for non-academic staff to participate in language skill upgrading and to develop an international exchange programme for persons in charge of student counselling, management and administration.
The panels overall conclusion regarding Standard 4: Staff reads as follows: The panel found that the composition, qualification and experience of the staff are fully compatible with the obligations resulting from their roles and tasks in the international and intercultural education of engineers at ENPC. Consequently, the panel deems the underlying criteria of this standard to be met or surpassed. The panel is convinced that the international composition of the staff, the opportunities for continuing education of staff members and their close nexus with the practice field of international companies can be regarded as an international example.
The panel therefore assesses Standard 4: Staff as good.
Standard 5: Students
The panel found that the composition of the student groups (Criterion 5a) is in line with the programme’s internationalisation goals. Students are generally satisfied with the international and intercultural experience provided by the programme. Based on conversations with students the panel recommends to ENPC to increase the intake of students in order to grow to a size that would improve the international visibility of the institution and its educational programmes.
Regarding Criterion 5b: Experience the panel found that the internationalisation experience gained by the students is excellent and corresponds fully to the programme’s internationalisation goals. The same positive assessment pertains to the services provided to students (Criterion 5c).
Therefore the panel comes to the overall conclusion regarding Standard 5: Students: The panel deems all the underlying criteria of this standard to be surpassed.
Extremely long and well-organized internships at home and abroad, tandem learning pairs, outstanding career guidance workshops and significant services provided to students can be regarded as an international example. The provision of international projects gives the students at ENPC an advantage over other engineering students when they apply for positions on the international labour market.
The panel therefore assesses Standard 5: Students as excellent.
Final conclusion and recommendation
Based on documented internationalization goals, the programme has successfully implemented effective internationalization activities which demonstrably contribute to the quality of teaching and learning. The panel assesses the overall level of internationalization at the Master of engineering programme of the École des Ponts ParisTech as good and recommends to the Steering Group and the ECA Management Group to award ENPC the Certificate for Quality in Internationalisation.